Following the AI Safety Summit, Musk took to X to tease the release of his startup xAI’s first AI products, which are set to be released to a select handful of early users on the 4th of November.
Musk’s tweet asserts that in “important respects,” it surpasses all existing AI – we’ll find out what those are soon enough.
Tomorrow, @xAI will release its first AI to a select group.
In some important respects, it is the best that currently exists.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2023
The deliberately mysterious xAI comprises a pool of AI researchers formerly affiliated with companies like DeepMind, OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, and the University of Toronto.
Since its inception in July 2023, xAI’s tagline is to “understand the true nature of the universe.”
Details on who will gain early access to the beta version of xAI’s product remain speculative.
Musk has been actively involved in a discourse with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on AI issues and has been teasing various AI-related enhancements on the X/Twitter platform, including a “See similar” posts feature.
xAI, though operating independently, has disclosed intentions to collaborate with X, Tesla, and other entities in pursuit of its overarching mission.
Tesla has immense computing power that could assist xAI if corporate interests can be kept separate.
As anticipation builds for xAI’s debut, the industry watches closely to see if Musk’s claims hold true.
What has Musk said about xAI thus far?
Coined with the audacious goal of figuring out “What the hell is really going on,” xAI seems to be the AI counterpart of Musk’s quest for existential discovery.
Announced during a Twitter Spaces conversation on July 15, 2023, Musk was keen to drive home that xAI is not merely another AI company. It’s a philosophical odyssey aimed at forging AI that can do more than mimic human thought.
Indeed, any AI capable of understanding the universe would be, naturally, the most intelligent entity in the universe as we know it.
Musk’s AI vision endeavors to grapple with fundamental questions about gravity, dark matter, the Fermi Paradox, and even the controversial and much-debated existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
But how the technology will take physical form is yet to be seen. After all, Musk can’t simply break the current constraints of AI technology through the power of will alone.
There is a political dimension, too, as xAI intends to break free from the ‘political correctness’ that Musk perceives as restricting current AI models like ChatGPT.
The team behind xAI includes Igor Babuschkin from CERN and the University of Toronto’s AI researcher Jimmy Ba, among others, highlighting an interdisciplinary team of AI scientists, physicists, and those from other scientific fields.
In Musk’s own words, xAI is set to compete with titans like OpenAI, but the practical path it will take remains speculatory – though not for long.