Elon Musk Announces xAI Startup Designed To “Understand the Universe”

Elon Musk has announced the launch of yet another venture, this time in the artificial intelligence (AI) space under the name “xAI.” According to its website, the platform is designed to “understand the true nature of the universe.”

Interestingly enough, the news comes just four months after Musk signed an open letter, alongside a thousand others, calling for a pause of massive AI experiments due to “profound risks to society and humanity.” Just a month after that letter, however, Musk was reported to have purchased thousands of GPU units, which we can now assume were for xAI.

The launch of xAI will undoubtedly put Musk in direct competition with OpenAI and it’s quite possible this is a personal vendetta against the company he helped co-found in 2015 but left after disagreements in 2018.

Now, under xAI, Musk has attracted quite a team of executives and researchers from prominent AI players like Google and Microsoft. Among some of the most notable members are names like Jimmy Ba, an esteemed assistant professor from the University of Toronto, who studied under the renowned AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton aka the “Godfather of AI.” Others include former Google personnel like Christian Szegedy, a former Google research scientist and Toby Pohlen, previously with Google DeepMind.

Like other tech startups, xAI finds itself situated in the San Francisco Bay area and appears to be actively recruiting skilled engineers and researchers to contribute to its vision of understanding reality and the universe.

With AI being an underlying and driving force for all of Musk’s companies, from Tesla to Neuralink, it will be interesting to see how the newly formed venture plays into continued innovation in other sectors. For those interested in learning more, xAI shared on its website that there will be an introductory Twitter space taking place on Friday, July 14.

In related news, Musk is suspected by Tesla of using company funds to build himself a literal glass house.
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