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Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is reportedly planning to launch an AI company to rival his former ally, OpenAI. Musk has hired a former DeepMind employee, Igor Babuschkin, and other engineers to begin work on the company, and is tapping into his vast network of investors to secure funding. The new company may be called X.ai, according to recent filings in Nevada.
Musk’s decision to launch an AI company may stem from his disagreements with OpenAI’s decision to pursue profits instead of focusing solely on research and its attempt to build ethical guardrails around AI. Musk has been vocal about his concerns that AI could pose a threat to humanity and must be limited in the long term, but it is not clear how this perspective fits with his decision to launch an AI company.
It is worth noting that building and operating a modern AI company is no easy feat. OpenAI’s success can be attributed to years of trial and error, as well as billions in funding. The concentration of AI talent at OpenAI and a handful of other institutions presents a significant obstacle for Musk’s new venture.
Moreover, Musk’s publicly callous and capricious approach to management at Twitter and other companies may deter AI experts from joining his new company. Musk’s approach to management has been criticized by some as unprofessional and unsuitable for building a successful business.
It remains to be seen what the value proposition of Musk’s new AI company will be. If it is related to his criticisms of other companies, it may involve less top-down interference in the natural process of technology-enhanced free speech. It has been rumored that the company will train the LLM on Twitter data, which is an interesting choice.
While it is uncertain whether Musk’s new venture will succeed, his activity in the industry is likely to agitate it. Musk’s reputation for disrupting industries and his vast financial resources mean that he is always a force to be reckoned with. Whether he can build a successful AI company that can rival OpenAI remains to be seen.