Musk Staffs xAI with Execs from Top Technology Companies

Elon Musk is sharing additional details about his latest endeavor, an artificial intelligence company called xAI. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX — and owner, executive chairman and CTO of Twitter — says his new company aspires to “understand the true nature of the universe.” While word began leaking out in February about Musk’s AI plans, he went public with his team on Wednesday (featuring executives from several notable tech firms), communicating via a newly minted website that also includes a recruitment message. Musk plans to release more information today live on Twitter Spaces.

“Team members behind xAI are alumni of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Twitter and Tesla, and have worked on projects including DeepMind’s AlphaCode and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4,” writes Fortune, noting the company has drawn from “a broad range of companies at the forefront of artificial intelligence,” including “academic institutions such as the University of Toronto.”

Of the 12 team members featured on the xAI website, “a majority previously worked at Google in some capacity, or at its London-based artificial intelligence unit, DeepMind,” Fortune reports.

The general consensus seems to be that Musk wants to position xAI to compete with the current category leaders: OpenAI, Google, Inflection AI and Anthropic, the companies behind leading chatbots ChatGPT, Bard, Pi and Claude, respectively.

Musk has been critical of other artificial intelligence firms, particularly OpenAI, which he helped found and was involved in through 2018 when he left the board, reportedly over disagreement about Microsoft investing in the company.

Musk was among a group of tech leaders who in March called for a “pause” in the training of powerful AI models. In April, word leaked out that he was busy building his own AI company.

Also in April, “Musk shared details of his plans for a new AI tool called ‘TruthGPT’ during a taped interview on Fox News Channel, adding that he feared existing AI companies are prioritizing systems that are ‘politically correct,’” CNBC reports.

According to former Microsoft Research exec and xAI co-founder Greg Yang, “the startup will delve into the ‘mathematics of deep learning,’ a facet of AI, and ‘develop the “theory of everything” for large neural networks’ to take AI ‘to the next level.’”

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