In a recent announcement, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, revealed the launch of xAI, a new artificial intelligence company. The primary objective of this venture is to delve into the fundamental understanding of the universe.
According to the company’s website, Musk will provide further details during a live Twitter Spaces chat scheduled for Friday. During a Twitter Spaces event held on Thursday, Musk also discussed his plans to develop a safer form of AI.
Unlike traditional approaches that rely on explicit programming of ethics, xAI aims to create an AI system that is inherently curious. By encouraging AI to comprehend the true nature of the universe, the company believes it can prioritize actions that benefit humanity.
— Quiver Quantitative (@QuiverQuant) July 12, 2023
Musk stated, “If we can enable AI to grasp the true nature of the universe, that would be the best approach from an AI safety standpoint. I believe it will naturally be pro-humanity because humanity is infinitely more fascinating than its absence.”
With xAI, Musk intends to compete with other prominent AI companies such as OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic, which have developed leading chatbot technologies like ChatGPT, Bard, and Claude.
Reports about this startup first emerged in April, with indications that Musk had acquired numerous GPU processors from Nvidia, a multinational American company, to power a potential large-scale language model.
Dan Hendrycks, the executive director of the Center for AI Safety, will serve as one of xAI’s advisors. In May, this San Francisco-based nonprofit organization published a letter emphasizing the importance of mitigating the risks associated with AI to prevent potential extinction, alongside other global-scale concerns like pandemics and nuclear war.
Greg Yang, co-founder of xAI, expressed that the startup will focus on exploring the “mathematics of deep learning,” a vital aspect of AI, and strive to develop a comprehensive “theory of everything” for large neural networks, thereby advancing AI to new heights.
In March of this year, Musk incorporated xAI in Nevada. While he previously renamed Twitter as “X Corp.,” xAI’s website clarifies that the company is distinct from X Corp. It also highlights their intention to collaborate closely with X (Twitter), Tesla, and other companies to make progress toward their mission.
Although Musk co-founded OpenAI, the organization responsible for ChatGPT, he stepped down from his position in 2018. For xAI, he has assembled a team of skilled engineers, including Igor Babuschkin (formerly of Google’s DeepMind), Tony Wu (a former Google employee), Christian Szegedy (a research scientist at Google), and Greg Yang (formerly at Microsoft).