Elon Musk’s xAI Set to Launch First AI Model

Today, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a groundbreaking announcement on his social platform X regarding his latest venture, xAI. Musk revealed that xAI’s first model will be launched on Saturday, November 4, 2023, exclusive to a select group of users. Musk’s foray into the AI space began with the incorporation of xAI in Nevada in March, followed by a formal announcement in July, with the ambitious goal of “understanding the true nature of the universe.”

While the specifics of xAI’s initial product have been kept under wraps, Musk confidently stated that it will be “the best that currently exists” in certain vital aspects. This proclamation, coupled with the lack of further details, is characteristic of Musk’s approach—known for creating hype surrounding his ventures before their release. Notably, this announcement coincides with OpenAI’s own DevDay on November 6, where the leading consumer-facing dedicated AI company is expected to unveil exciting new products, as mentioned by OpenAI’s Co-Founder and CEO Sam Altman on X.

Musk played a significant role in the founding of OpenAI, alongside Sam Altman in 2015. However, differences emerged between the two, resulting in Musk divesting from OpenAI. Now, with xAI, Musk aims to compete with OpenAI by offering his own rival AI products. In 2018, Musk desired to assume a leadership position at OpenAI due to concerns about its perceived lag behind Google. Unfortunately, Altman and the other founders disagreed with Musk, leading to him leaving the company. Nevertheless, Musk still claims credit for its creation.

In the intervening years, OpenAI underwent a transformation from a non-profit to a capped-profit organization, secured significant investments from Microsoft, and introduced its GPT and DALL-E AI models, establishing its dominance in generative AI and likely revenue. Thanks to Microsoft’s investments, OpenAI’s models have been incorporated into various Microsoft products, including Edge and Microsoft 365. However, Musk has criticized OpenAI’s transition to a for-profit company under the control of Microsoft, as well as its shift from open to closed source. In December 2022, Musk even withdrew OpenAI’s access to X’s data (previously Twitter) for training purposes.

Now, firmly believing that he is the sole individual capable of delivering safe and ethical AI to the world, Musk is forging ahead with xAI in an effort to catch up with OpenAI. Launching xAI’s first AI model just before OpenAI’s developer conference on November 6 further demonstrates Musk’s intention to divert attention from OpenAI. In an interview with Fox News in April, Musk articulated his vision for xAI, stating, “I believe that creating a maximum truth-seeking AI, which I call TruthGPT, that aims to comprehend the nature of the universe, is the best approach to ensure our safety. An AI that has a genuine interest in understanding the universe is unlikely to pose a threat to humanity—after all, we are an intriguing part of the universe.”

xAI’s mission aligns perfectly with Musk’s statement. The venture has assembled a team of AI experts from prominent organizations such as DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto. Musk expects that by actively participating in the AI race, he can contribute to humanity’s well-being and deliver a competitive offering that surpasses the capabilities of Google DeepMind, OpenAI, and Microsoft.

Reportedly, xAI’s model is being trained using data from X as well as the Oracle Cloud. During an X Spaces session in July, Musk also shared his prediction that Artificial General Intelligence—an AI with the ability to learn and think like humans—could become a reality around 2029.

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