Tech billionaire and Twitter owner Elon Musk has finally launched his AI startup known as xAI, in a move seen to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Musk has been critical of AI and its potential harm to humanity, even though he previously invested in OpenAI. Musk said this time his plan is to create a program that is pro-humanity. xAI is scheduled to host a Twitter event on July 14.
While the latest company will be separate from his X Corp, it is expected to have a close collaboration with his other companies including Tesla and Twitter.
According to the xAI website, Musk himself will lead xAI, while he is also the CEO of Tesla and X Corp.
In a Twitter space he hosted on Wednesday, the tech billionaire indicated his new AI startup is an implementation of a safer AI for humanity.
“If I tried to understand the true nature of the universe, that’s actually the best thing that I can come up with from an AI safety standpoint,” Musk said.
“I think it is going to be pro-humanity from the standpoint that humanity is just much more interesting than not-humanity.”
An ABC report says the xAI team is comprised of former employees of Google and Microsoft. The company, which was registered in March and incorporated in Nevada, lists Musk as its director with Jared Birchall as a secretary.
“We are actively recruiting experienced engineers and researchers to join our team as members of our technical staff in the Bay Area,” said the company on the website.
Other team members include Google’s DeepMind engineer Igor Babuschkin and fellow Google alum Tony Wu.
Dan Hendrycks will be the xAI team advisor. His current work as a director of the Center for AI Safety focuses on AI risks.
Musk has raised concerns over the risks of AI to humanity and called for a halt to further developments in the industry. In 2015, Musk co-founded OpenAI, but stepped down from the company in 2018, stating at that time that he did not want a conflict of interest with Tesla.
In March Musk signed an open letter that urged companies to temporarily pause “giant AI experiments.” They argued that their creators can’t “understand, predict or reliably control” AI, posing a threat to humanity.
Musk once said he believed AI has transformative potential “however small,” of “civilization destruction.” Earlier this year, ChaosGPT stated its plans to destroy humanity while establishing global dominance, further unsettling some critics of the technology.
Musk has also said that a pause to AI was no longer realistic and his xAI would be a better alternative as it was “maximally curious” about humanity.
“If I could press pause on AI or really advanced AI digital superintelligence I would,” he said.
“It doesn’t seem like that is realistic so xAI is essentially going to build an AI…in a good way, sort of hopefully.”