Elon Musk, who has hinted for months about his desire to create an alternative to the popular chatbot created by OpenAI, has announced the formation of xAI with the goal of “understanding the true nature of the universe.”
According to its website, xAI will be led by Musk and will include staff members who have previously worked in leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence, including Google’s DeepMind, Microsoft Inc., Tesla Inc., as well as academic institutions like the University of Toronto.
According to the filing with the Nevada State Secretary, Musk and Jared Birchall, who manages Musk’s family office, started a business named X.AI in March. Musk has been publicly critical of OpenAI, the high-profile AI startup and developer of ChatGPT.
Despite his involvement in AI, Musk was part of a group of researchers and leaders in the technology industry who called for a ban on powerful AI models’ training by developers at the beginning of this year.
Musk’s new venture has recently welcomed Guodong Zhang and Jimmy Ba, two esteemed educators hailing from the University of Toronto. Jimmy Ba, an accomplished assistant professor, has had the privilege of studying under the guidance of the renowned AI researcher Geoffrey Hinton. Their valuable expertise and academic background make them valuable additions to Musk’s startup team. Both Ba and Zhang have listed their CVs on the DeepMind internship registry.
Ba is one of the most prominent appointments announced by xAI. He is a co-author of the paper known as “Adam,” which has been cited the most in artificial intelligence with 95,460 citations, according to the scientific networking site ResearchGate.
Dev Lalara, the director of AI engineering at Vector Institute, a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to AI research, said, “Ba has an exceptional mind” where he has worked as a researcher as well. Lalara added, “He has achieved considerable originality in methods compared to his peers.”
According to Eyal de Lara, the chair of the Department of Computer Science, Ba is currently on leave from the university, and according to the institution’s website, he is also on leave from Vector.
Although Musk has been a consistent critic of San Francisco, xAI’s website says the company is actively recruiting “experienced engineers and researchers” to work “in the Gulf region.” So far, The majority of advancements in AI research and development have predominantly centered around Silicon Valley.
The xAI website states that the company is receiving advice from Dan Hendricks, the director of the Center for AI Safety, a group that has raised concerns about the risks associated with rapidly developing AI. During the spring season, the organization released precautionary notices that were endorsed by prominent executives from several major AI companies, such as DeepMind and OpenAI.
Musk has a notable track record of enlisting engineers from one company to assist another, as the lines between his growing enterprises become increasingly intertwined. For example, he has a Vice President of Materials Engineering in both Tesla and SpaceX, and after Tesla acquired the company for $44 billion in October, engineers from Tesla willingly worked at SpaceX, according to their tweets.
According to the xAI website, it is a “separate company” from the original company in which Musk merged with Twitter earlier this year but will “work alongside Twitter, Tesla, and other companies.”