xAI is a new artificial intelligence (AI) startup owned and operated by Elon Musk, which says it will attempt to use technology to understand the true nature of the universe.
- Musk announced the company in a Wednesday Tweet, “Announcing formation of xAI to understand reality.”
- The xAI Twitter account immediately grew to 357,000 followers, with its only current Tweet asking, “What are the most fundamental unanswered questions?”
- The San Francisco-based company is not formally affiliated with Musk’s existing work with Tesla, and Twitter/X, but says it will work closely with Musk’s other companies.
- The company was incorporated on March 9, with Musk quietly purchasing large quantities of processes from Nvidia to build its own large-language model, The Financial Times reported in April.
- The combined team will host its first Twitter Spaces chat on Friday, July 14, to discuss the company and its goals.
Why It’s Important
Musk has joined the AI revolution, jumping into a crowded field of startups and corporations that have spent the past eight months scrambling to push the first and best solutions to the market. As we previously reported, OpenAI changed the world with the launch of ChatGPT, leaving Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, and Baidu scrambling to push their own chatbots to market.
The startup is a curious decision for Musk—who is already busy as the visionary behind Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Neuralink, and the Boring Company. Musk has been very outspoken in the past decade about his concerns for the potential of AI and the dangers it can create when powerful technologies are let loose upon the public. He was a founding member of OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, but left in 2018 due to conflicts with management over AI safety and ethics.
xAI stands to centralize Musk as a leading voice in the AI world amid its rapid growth and transition while offering secondary benefits to the companies he owns that regularly integrate AI solutions into their technology, which is particularly important as Twitter’s new rival Threads is threatening to harm its site traffic, Axios reports.
The startup will put a great deal of focus into the philosophy of AI, co-founder Greg Yang tells CNBC. He says it will delve into the “mathematics of deep learning” and “develop the ‘theory of everything’ for large neural networks” to take AI “to the next level.” The company’s stated goal is “to understand the true nature of the universe.”
“We have previously worked at DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto. Collectively we contributed some of the most widely used methods in the field,” says the company website. “We have worked on and led the development of some of the largest breakthroughs in the field, including AlphaStar, AlphaCode, Inception, Minerva, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4.”