Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and CEO of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, has recently launched an artificial intelligence (AI) startup called xAI. In an effort to address concerns about the potential dangers of advanced AI, Musk aims to develop AI systems that are “pro-humanity” and maximize curiosity about humanity rather than relying on pre-programmed moral guidelines.
Musk, who was one of the signatories to a letter calling for a pause in the development of large AI models, expressed his belief that pressing pause on AI advancements is no longer a realistic option. Instead, he hopes that xAI can provide an alternative path forward, building AI systems in a beneficial manner.
During a Spaces discussion on Twitter, Musk discussed the potential outcomes of the emergence of artificial general intelligence, which refers to AI systems capable of human-level intelligence. He described a positive scenario where this technology leads to an “age of plenty” with abundant goods and services. However, he also acknowledged the darker possibility portrayed in movies like Terminator, where AI-powered robots threaten humanity. Musk emphasized the importance of considering these worst-case scenarios to prevent them from becoming a reality. He suggested that superintelligence, AI surpassing human intelligence, could be achieved within the next five to six years, sooner than the estimates of many experts.
Musk clarified that xAI is in its early stages and still has a long way to go before reaching the level of established AI organizations like OpenAI and Google, which have developed their own advanced AI models. The xAI team includes talented individuals with backgrounds in renowned AI companies such as DeepMind, Google, and Microsoft.
Notably, Musk’s new venture, xAI Corp, is separate from X Corp but will maintain close collaborations with Twitter, Tesla, and other companies. The startup is actively recruiting experienced engineers and researchers in the San Francisco Bay area, highlighting its commitment to assembling a skilled team.
Musk’s initiatives reflect a growing recognition of the risks associated with advancing AI technology beyond human control. By establishing xAI, he aims to foster a safer and more beneficial approach to AI development, promoting curiosity-driven AI systems that prioritize humanity’s well-being.
As the xAI project progresses, it will be interesting to observe how this innovative startup contributes to the ongoing discussions and efforts surrounding AI ethics and safety.