Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, launched his long-rumored artificial intelligence startup xAI on Wednesday, unveiling a team comprised of engineers from the same large U.S. technology firms that he expects to compete with in his effort to create an alternative to ChatGPT.
Musk, already CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA.O), CEO of rocket launch company SpaceX, and proprietor of Twitter, will lead the startup. Musk has stated on multiple occasions that the development of AI should be halted and that the industry requires regulation. Musk has repeatedly expressed concern about artificial intelligence's potential for "civilizational destruction."
Musk explained his plan for creating a secure AI during a Wednesday evening Twitter Spaces event. Instead of expressly programming morality into its AI, xAI will aim to create a "maximally curious" AI, according to him.
Musk stated, "If it attempted to comprehend the true nature of the universe, that would be the best AI safety measure I can think of." "I believe it will be pro-humanity on the grounds that humanity is simply more fascinating than non-humanity."
Musk also predicted that in five to six years, superintelligence, or artificial intelligence that is wiser than humans, will arrive.
Musk co-founded OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, in 2015, but resigned from its board of directors in 2018.
Microsoft is an OpenAI investor.
On July 14, xAI will host a Twitter Spaces event, according to its website.
The xAI team includes Igor Babuschkin, a former engineer at Google's DeepMind; Tony Wu, a former Google GOOGL.O> employee; Christian Szegedy, a former Google research scientist; and Greg Yang, a former Microsoft employee.
Musk registered the Nevada corporation X.AI Corp in March, according to a state filing. Musk is listed as the sole director of the company, while Jared Birchall, the managing director of Musk's family office, is listed as the secretary.
Musk stated in April that he would launch TruthGPT, a rival to Google's Bard and Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Bing AI that attempts to comprehend the nature of the universe.
OpenAI's launch of the popular chatbot ChatGPT in November 2017 brought generative AI to the forefront, preceding the launches of Bard and Bing AI.
Dan Hendrycks, who will advise the xAI team, is the director of the Center for AI Safety and his work focuses on the hazards of artificial intelligence.
According to the website, Musk's new company is distinct from X Corp, but will collaborate closely with Twitter, Tesla, and other companies.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, xAI is recruiting experienced engineers and researchers, according to the company.
Anna Tong in San Francisco; reporting by Akash Sriram, Chavi Mehta, Yuvraj Malik, and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; editing by Shailesh Kuber and Leslie Adler