Elon Musk announces ChatGPT alternative dubbed xAI | Tech News

Elon Musk announces ChatGPT alternative dubbed xAI

Elon Musk, who has hinted for months that he wants to build an alternative to the popular ChatGPT artificial intelligence chatbot, announced the formation of what he’s calling xAI.

| Updated on: Jul 12 2023, 23:22 IST
5 Tech Titans who reacted to Twitter-killer Threads - Jack Dorsey to Elon Musk, check it out
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1/7 On their part, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, posted this note on the Threads app, “Here we go. We have lots of work to do, but we’re looking to build an open, civil place for people to have conversations.” (REUTERS)
elon musk
2/7 At the same time, Meta Platforms CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said, "Our vision is to take the best parts of Instagram and create a new experience for text, ideas, and discussing what's on your mind.” (AP)
elon musk
3/7 Elon Musk - While Musk did not directly talk about the Threads app, the Twitter chief took a dig at Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comment about how Twitter runs, saying, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.” Musk also responded to a meme with a laughing emoji on Twitter which showed a keyboard with copy-and-paste buttons, implying that Threads was just a copycat of Twitter. (REUTERS)
elon musk
4/7 Jack Dorsey - The former Twitter CEO and current co-founder of Bluesky Social mocked the similar interface of several Twitter alternatives in a tweet. He wrote, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 7 Twitter clones.” (REUTERS)
elon musk
5/7 Bill Gates - Announcing his arrival on the new microblogging platform, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wrote on Threads, “I’m excited to jump into @threadsapp,” while also sharing a GIF of him jumping over a chair. (REUTERS)
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6/7 Carl Pei - Nothing co-founder and CEO Carl Pei has also joined Threads. In his first post, he wrote, “I don’t know if Threads is going to make it or not, but at least it has closed the door for Bluesky.” (Bloomberg)
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7/7 M.G. Siegler - In a tweet, M.G. Siegler, general partner at Google Ventures wrote about Threads, “Sort of strange that Instagram is about to launch Threads to try to eat Twitter just as Retro is starting to eat Instagram Stories…” (Google Ventures)
elon musk
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Elon Musk was involved in the creation of OpenAI, the highest-profile AI startup and developer of ChatGPT. (REUTERS)

Elon Musk, who has hinted for months that he wants to build an alternative to the popular ChatGPT artificial intelligence chatbot, announced the formation of what he's calling xAI, whose goal is to “understand the true nature of the universe.”

On a website unveiled Wednesday xAI said its team will be led by Musk and staffed by executives who have worked at a broad range of companies at the forefront of artificial intelligence, including Google's DeepMind, Microsoft Corp. and Tesla Inc., as well as academic institutions such as the University of Toronto.

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Musk was involved in the creation of OpenAI, the highest-profile AI startup and developer of ChatGPT. But he has frequently and publicly criticized OpenAI since he left the board in 2018, especially after it created a for-profit arm the following year. He has said he believes it to be “effectively controlled by Microsoft.” Microsoft has invested some $13 billion into OpenAI.

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Despite his work in AI, Musk has expressed deep reservations about the technology. The billionaire was among a group of researchers and tech industry leaders who in March called for developers to pause the training of powerful AI models.

The 12 men listed on the website as of Wednesday morning (including Musk) include Jimmy Ba, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto who studied under AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton, and Christian Szegedy, who spent years as a research scientist working on AI at Google.

Though Musk is a frequent critic of San Francisco, the xAI website says that the company is “actively recruiting experienced engineers and researchers” to work “in the Bay Area.” So far, most AI development has been concentrated in Silicon Valley.

Musk and Jared Birchall, who operates Musk's family office, incorporated a business called X.AI in March, according to a Nevada state filing with the Secretary of State.

In April, the Financial Times reported that Musk was holding discussions with Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. investors about helping fund an AI startup, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The billionaire has acquired thousands of processors from Nvidia Corp. for the new project, the paper said.

The xAI website said the company is being advised by Dan Hendrycks, who is the director of the Center for AI Safety — a group that has warned about what it sees as existential dangers of developing AI quickly. This spring, it released a letter of caution signed by chief executive officers of some of the leading companies in AI, including Alphabet Inc.'s DeepMind and OpenAI.

Musk, 52, now oversees six companies: Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Neuralink, the Boring Co. and now xAI. In regulatory filings, Tesla says the auto giant is “increasingly focused on products and services based on artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.” Tesla's website invites people to help “build the future of artificial intelligence” with a variety of products, from the “Tesla Bot” known as Optimus to AI interface chips that will run the electric automaker's automated driving software.

Musk has a long history of borrowing engineers from one company to help out at another, as the contours of his ever-expanding empire bleed into one another. Tesla and SpaceX share a vice president of materials engineering, for example, and engineers from Tesla “volunteered” to work at Twitter after Musk bought the company for $44 billion in October.

The xAI website says that it is a “separate company from X Corp,” the parent company that Musk merged Twitter into earlier this year, but that it will “work closely with X (Twitter), Tesla, and other companies.”

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First Published Date: 12 Jul, 23:21 IST