The organization comprises of a team of 12 individuals, including seasoned professionals from esteemed institutions such as DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto, with Musk himself at the helm.
The inspiration behind xAI’s name comes from X Corp, the label given to Twitter since early April, in line with Musk’s vision of an “everything app” denoted by the letter “X.”
Assisting xAI as an advisor is Dan Hendrycks, the director of the Center for AI Safety, a non-profit AI research organization.
Additionally, xAI will collaborate with Twitter and one of Musk’s other companies, Tesla, to make advancements towards its yet-to-be-disclosed mission.
Although Musk is keeping the actual information under wraps until Friday, the team lineup at xAI provides some clues about the organization’s main points.
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Several founding members specialize in large language models, likened to OpenAI’s GPT-4, and possess expertise in reinforcement learning techniques, which train AI models by rewarding them for accomplishing tasks.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson in April, Musk mentioned his ambition to construct a “maximum-truth-seeking AI” dubbed “TruthGPT.”
It is likely that xAI’s initial efforts will revolve around this concept, potentially manifesting as a text-generation AI that Musk believes will be more veracious than existing technologies. Musk has previously hinted that Twitter could employ its own data to train technology resembling ChatGPT.
Rumors of Musk establishing an AI company have circulated for some time, with reports earlier this year stating that he had procured thousands of GPUs to power an upcoming generative AI product.
Musk also plans to create an AI firm, potentially in competition with the Microsoft-backed OpenAI, and his purported search for funding from SpaceX and Tesla investors to kickstart the venture.
Musk’s aspirations in the field of AI have expanded since his departure from OpenAI a few years ago, following a split with co-founders Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever.
Originally launched as a nonprofit organization in 2015, OpenAI received $1 billion in donations from Musk and other contributors.
As OpenAI shifted its focus from open-source research to predominantly commercial projects, Musk grew disillusioned and competitive with the company he once sat on the board of.
He attracted key employees from OpenAI to work on Tesla’s Autopilot, the company’s driver-assistance technology. Furthermore, he openly criticized OpenAI, referring to it as a “profit-maximizing demon from hell.”