Updated Jul 12, 2023, 1:38pm EDT
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Elon Musk launches new AI company to rival OpenAI

Elon Musk in Paris, France, June 16, 2023.
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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The News

Twitter owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk took another step into the world of artificial intelligence research Wednesday, formally launching a new company called xAI.

A website for the company didn’t specify what it plans to research or what AI products it might create, but said its goal is to “understand the true nature of the universe.” It is actively hiring engineers and researchers and plans to discuss more in a Twitter Spaces chat on Friday.

Musk filed the paperwork to form the company in Nevada in April, The Wall Street Journal reported. xAI is separate from X Corp — Musk’s company that owns Twitter — but it plans to work close with Twitter and Tesla, the website states.

We’ve collected helpful insights and reporting on Musk’s plan to rival OpenAI and the inevitable politicization of chatbots.

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  • Musk “has hinted for months that he wants to build an alternative” AI firm, Bloomberg reported. He told Fox News in April that he is working on ”TruthGPT,” which he called “a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe.”
  • Experts see the effort as Musk’s attempt to rival OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT that Musk initially invested in. He walked away from OpenAI in 2018 after a failed attempt to run it himself, Semafor reported. He’s taken jabs at the company as its products have become more successful over the past six months, calling it ”woke" and biased.
  • Conservatives have accused ChatGPT of having a left-leaning bias and vowed to create their own chatbots, while experts say the debate shows “how quickly politicized chatbots would emerge,” The New York Times reported. OpenAI has acknowledged its bots could develop biases (they are trained on billions of data points from across the internet) but said it hadn’t tried to sway the models during training.