Elon Musk launches xAI company to challenge ChatGPT

Tesla founder has been outspoken on dangers of artificial intelligence

Tesla founder Elon Musk announced the formation of his new artificial intelligence company xAI. AFP
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Elon Musk on Wednesday launched a new artificial intelligence company called xAI, whose mission statement is “to understand reality”.

“Today we announce the formation of xAI. The goal of xAI is to understand the true nature of the universe,” the company wrote on its website.

Mr Musk will lead the new firm, which is a separate company from X Corp.

Other members of the start-up have backgrounds working for DeepMind, OpenAI and Google Research, among others. The company said it would host a Twitter Spaces session on the issue on Friday.

Mr Musk seemingly chose July 12, 2023, to announce the launch of xAI as the numerical value of the date equates to 42, which is the answer to the "Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything", according to the fictional supercomputer Deep Thought in Douglas Adams's classic science-fiction franchise, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Dan Hendrycks, director of the Centre for AI Safety, will advise the new team.

Mr Musk founder registered the name X.AI Corp in Nevada, according to a state filing.

The Tesla founder first waded into the AI field in 2015 when he cofounded OpenAI. He left the company in 2018, citing a potential conflict of interest with Tesla.

He has since become a critic of OpenAI and has been outspoken on the dangers of AI.

He recently joined a group of tech industry leaders who called on AI labs to pause “giant AI experiments” for at least six months to develop safety protocols.

Mr Musk also told former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson in April that he would launch “TruthGPT” or a “maximum truth-seeking AI” to understand the nature of the universe.

At the time, Mr Musk said he wanted to create an AI platform that would rival ChatGPT and similar initiatives by Microsoft and Google.

Updated: July 12, 2023, 6:44 PM