Elon Musk Launches AI Rival To ChatGPT
Musk's new venture will take an ethical approach to AI, and seek to "understand reality".
Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla and Twitter, has announced he is launching xAI, a highly anticipated artificial intelligence (AI) start-up. His aim is the creation of an alternative to ChatGPT, challenging existing tech giants in the AI space—but he also has another mission.
Musk has previously taken a cautious approach to AI, recognizing the potential for "civilizational destruction". He was one of the original signatories of an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on training AI models more powerful than ChatGPT-4 due to ethical concerns and potential risks of allowing the sector to continue to develop unchecked.
Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders. Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.
Musk has repeatedly emphasized the need for regulatory measures before the technology progresses further. However, regulation moves slowly and the open letter has, essentially, been ignored.
The Meaning Of Life
Despite co-founding OpenAI and playing a pivotal role in the generative AI field, Musk wants to explore AI from a different perspective. His motivation for launching xAI is, he says, to gain a deeper understanding of the universe's true nature.
Dan Hendrycks, the director of the Center for AI Safety, a non-profit organization focused on mitigating AI risks, will provide guidance as an adviser to the new company.
xAI has assembled a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers and scientists from prominent tech players including Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI. On its website, the start-up highlights their involvement in developing breakthrough technologies such as AlphaStar, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4.
The company, based in the Bay Area, is actively seeking engineers and researchers to join their technical staff. To engage with the AI community, xAI will host a Twitter Spaces event on July 14th.
xAI will maintain close collaboration with Musk's other companies, including Tesla and Twitter, as indicated on the start-up's website. In April, the Financial Times reported that Musk had secured a substantial number of high-powered GPU processors from Nvidia for the xAI project.
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