FT: Elon Musk Plans AI Startup to Rival OpenAI

Reuters file photo
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk attends the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai on Aug. 29, 2019.

Billionaire Elon Musk is working on launching an artificial intelligence start-up that will rival ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, the Financial Times reported on Friday citing people familiar with his plans.

Twitter-owner Musk is assembling a team of AI researchers and engineers, according to the FT report, and is also in discussions with some investors in SpaceX and Tesla Inc TSLA.O about putting money into his new venture.

Musk’s plan for the firm comes weeks after a group of AI researchers and executives, including himself, called for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4, citing potential risks to society.

Companies from Microsoft Corp MSFT.O to Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O are pushing to incorporate Generative AI, the technology behind chatbot sensation ChatGPT, into their offerings.

However, ChatGPT is facing pushback as regulators call for well-defined rules ahead of its mass adoption. Italy has banned ChatGPT over privacy issues, while a European privacy watchdog created a task force in a first step towards a common policy for AI.

Musk has secured thousands of graphics processing units, systems that power the computing required for intensive tasks such as AI and high-end graphics, from Nvidia Corp NVDA.O, according to FT. Shares of the chip company, which declined to comment on the matter, gained on the news on Friday.

Musk last month registered a firm named X.AI Corp, incorporated in Nevada, according to a state filing. The firm lists Musk as the sole director and Jared Birchall, the managing director of Musk’s family office, as a secretary.

It was not clear if the firm was related to Musk’s reported AI start-up efforts. Musk did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Musk is one of the co-founders of OpenAI, which was started as a non-profit in 2015. He stepped down from the company’s board in 2018.