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Elon Musk launches new artificial intelligence company

Elon Musk announced the launch of his A.I. company Wednesday with the mission of "understanding the true nature of the universe."
Elon Musk launches new artificial intelligence company
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Elon Musk is officially throwing his hat into the ring of artificial intelligence.

The Tesla CEO and Twitter owner officially debuted his A.I. company, xAI, Wednesday after teasing the project for months. Its goal, according to its website, is to "understand the true nature of the universe."

Besides Musk, xAI's team consists of former employees of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla and the University of Toronto. It touts some team members as being influential in the field's widely used methods and techniques, plus their contributions to some of the largest breakthroughs in the field.

On Friday, Musk will officially introduce the team and answer questions in a Twitter Spaces chat.

Musk first shared details of his plan to develop an A.I. company called "TruthGPT" in an April interview with Tucker Carlson. On Fox News Channel, Musk said he wanted to build "a maximum truth-seeking A.I. that tries to understand the nature of the universe" — a message he seemed to carry into xAI's mission statement. He added an A.I. with that purpose would be "unlikely to annihilate humans."

The unofficial announcement came just about a month after Musk signed an open letter to pause all "giant AI experiments" for six months, but that wasn't the first time the SpaceX founder has criticized the A.I. field. 

He's tweeted woes about the industry before, saying there are "lots of ways for AI to go wrong," and, "Even benign dependency on AI/Automation is dangerous to civilization if taken so far that we eventually forget how the machines work."

As of now, it's not clear exactly how xAI will actually differ from others out there that Musk criticizes — namely OpenAI's ChatGPT. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 before leaving its board three years later. He's said the company has an unethical political bias and a for-profit goal, though xAI is also a for-profit company.

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