Elon Musk’s AI startup, xAI, will release a preview of its technology on Friday, the Tesla CEO has announced.
In a post on his X platform early Friday morning, Musk revealed that the company would be unveiling its technology to “select” individuals over the weekend—touting the tech as “the best that currently exists” in some areas.
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
Musk launched xAI in July in what he said was a bid to “understand the universe” and prevent the extinction of mankind.
At the time, the company said it would share more information on its objectives in the coming months.
During a subsequent hour-long conversation on Twitter spaces, Musk said he decided to “grow an AI in a good way” after seeing that the development of the technology was unlikely to slow down any time soon.
Although Musk has said he believes AI will ultimately “be a force for good,” he has repeatedly sounded the alarm over the potential catastrophic consequences the technology could inflict on the world—warning the tech will hit people “like an asteroid” and insisting there’s a chance it will “go Terminator.”
Earlier this year, he signed an open letter alongside more than 1,000 tech luminaries—including Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak—urging a six-month pause in AI development, arguing that decisions around the technology “must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders.”
The letter came as AI was fast becoming the hottest technology on the market thanks to the phenomenal rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, with billions of dollars being poured into the tech.
Musk was involved in the creation of OpenAI, but left the board in 2018 after raising concerns about artificial intelligence.
During July’s Twitter Spaces talk, Musk said he planned to train xAI’s models in a way that would make it “maximally curious [and] maximally truth-seeking.”
“I think a maximally curious AI, one that is just trying to sort of understand the universe is, I think, going to be pro-humanity,” he said. “From the standpoint that humanity is just much more interesting than not humanity.”
The mathematics of deep learning
According to xAI cofounder Greg Yang, the startup will delve into the “mathematics of deep learning” and “develop the ‘theory of everything’ for large neural networks” to take AI “to the next level.”
“This AI will enable everyone to understand our mathematical universe in ways unimaginable before,” he said when the company was launched.
XAI’s team includes alumni of major tech firms including Google-owned DeepMind, ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Tesla and Google and Microsoft’s research arms.
“Collectively we contributed some of the most widely used methods in the field,” the firm says on its website. “We have worked on and led the development of some of the largest breakthroughs in the field including AlphaStar, AlphaCode, Inception, Minerva, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4.”
The company is being advised by Dan Hendrycks, the director of the Center for AI Safety—a group that has warned about the “risk of extinction from AI.”
During a fireside discussion with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after attending Britain’s AI Safety Summit on Thursday, Musk reiterated that “the probability of [AI] going bad is not 0%.”
Ahead of the summit this week, 28 countries—including the U.S. and China—signed a “world first” agreement acknowledging the need for international cooperation to prevent “catastrophic harm” being caused by AI.
While he admitted during Thursday evening’s talk that regulation would be “annoying” for developers, Musk conceded: “I think we’ve learned over the years that having a referee is a good thing.”
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