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Elon Musk is preparing to launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) startup, X.AI, which will compete directly with OpenAI, according to a bombshell report published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
The story reveals that Musk founded X.AI in Nevada last month and authorized the sale of 100 million shares for the private company. According to state returns, Musk is the sole director of the new company; Jared Birchall, a confidante and the director of Musk’s family office, is the secretary.
Earlier in the day, the Financial Times published his own story about Musk’s intent to start a new AI company. The story alleged that Musk has assembled a team of AI researchers and engineers, extending the recruiting effort to employees of leading AI companies such as Alphabet-owned DeepMind.
According to the Financial Times, Musk has spoken to several investors in SpaceX and Tesla about backing his new AI startup. “A number of people are investing in it… it’s real and they’re excited about it,” a person with direct knowledge of the discussions told the Financial Times.
The name of the new company reflects Musk’s ambition to create an everything app called X announced on Twitter last year. Musk recently changed Twitter’s name to X Corp and moved the founding from Delaware to Nevada. X Corp has a parent company called X Holdings Corp.
Musk’s new venture comes after he raised concerns about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence and the need for regulation and oversight. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 with a group of leading tech entrepreneurs and researchers, with the goal of creating artificial intelligence that could benefit humanity without harming or being influenced by corporate or political agendas.
According to a recent Semafor report, Musk reportedly tried to acquire OpenAI in 2018, but was unsuccessful. He subsequently left the board of OpenAI over a potential conflict of interest with his work at Tesla, which also develops AI technology for its self-driving cars. Musk has also criticized OpenAI for pursuing artificial general intelligence (AGI). This is the ability of machines to perform any intellectual task that humans can.
On Tuesday, This is reported by Business Insider that the Tesla billionaire had bought about 10,000 graphics processing units (GPU) for his new AI project. Technology companies typically use GPUs to handle the computing workloads that newer AI technology requires.
VentureBeat has reached out to OpenAI and Twitter for comment on Musk’s new AI company. We’ll update this story if and when we hear back.
Update 5:48 PT: OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman issued a one-word statement via his Twitter account in response to the Wall Street Journal report: “Concerning.”
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