Thursday, July 13, 2023

Elon Musk's x.AI Launches

The company was formed in March so it's valuation is probably around a hundred billion or so.

Just kidding. I have no idea what sort of valuation it has been assigned. x.AI is a Nevada corporation which, as our corporate attorney readers well know, is handy as hell for a privately-held stealth company. As part of the company's coming-out I think they dropped the period in the name on the original incorporation papers.

Mr. Musk was one of the founder/funders ($100 million gift not equity) of ChatGPT parent OpenAI when it was a .org (non-profit) and seemed a bit miffed when Sam Alman hooked up with Microsoft to the tune of $10 billion.

So Elon went out and bought a garage-full of GPUs.

Here's a twofer, first up TechCrunch, July 12:

Elon Musk wants to build AI to ‘understand the true nature of the universe’

Elon Musk, Twitter’s not-so-benevolent CEO, today announced the launch of a new organization, xAI, to “understand the true nature of the universe.”

Ambitious? A little. So how does xAI plan to achieve it? More details will be announced during a Twitter Spaces on Friday, apparently. But xAI’s splash page reveals that the team — 12 people strong, currently — will be led by Musk and veterans of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla and the University of Toronto.

xAI’s namesake is X Corp., the name assigned to Twitter since early April, along with the “X” label Musk has applied to his vision of an “everything app.”

xAI will be advised by Dan Hendrycks, the director at the Center for AI Safety, an AI research nonprofit. And it’ll work with Twitter and one of Musk’s other companies, Tesla, to “make progress towards [its] mission” — whatever that mission ends up being.

While Musk’s saving the juicy tidbits for Friday, xAI’s roster gives some clues as to what the organization’s work might entail. Many of the founding members specialize in large language models along the lines of OpenAI’s GPT-4 or have experience in techniques like reinforcement learning, which teaches AI models to accomplish tasks by rewarding them for performing those tasks....


And from Techopedia, July 13:

Here’s How Elon Musk’s AI Firm xAI Will Disrupt the Industry

xAI ostensibly aims to disrupt the AI industry by taking a unique approach to AI development. With Musk's influential presence and a team of experienced professionals, xAI has the potential to bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table.

Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur known for his ventures in electric cars and rockets, has launched a new artificial intelligence (AI) startup called xAI. At its core, the company aims to challenge existing big AI firms like OpenAI with its alternative to ChatGPT.

Musk, who has been vocal about his concerns regarding AI’s potential for harm, intends to build a safer AI by creating a “maximally curious” AI that seeks to understand the true nature of the universe, he said in a Twitter Spaces event Wednesday evening.

He claimed that this approach will be more pro-humanity and aims to mitigate the risks associated with superintelligence, which he predicts will arrive within the next five to six years.

“If it tried to understand the true nature of the universe, that’s actually the best thing that I can come up with from an AI safety standpoint,” the billionaire said.

“I think it is going to be pro-humanity from the standpoint that humanity is just much more interesting than not-humanity.”

xAI Team Consists of Engineers From Google and Microsoft...


As we mentioned in last month's "'Elon Musk Predicts Nvidia’s Monopoly in A.I. Chips Won’t Last' (NVDA; TSLA)", Elon and Jensen Huang at NVIDIA have some history which culminated in one of the funnier CEO-to-CEO comments (after Elon did a "it's not you it's me" on the NVDA general-purpose chips vs. FPGA's or whatever it was he wanted for Tesla fully-autonomous):

"Nvidia CEO is 'more than happy to help' if Tesla's A.I. chip doesn't pan out" (NVDA; TSLA)