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In a bold statement made during an extensive interview with CNBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed on Tuesday that he is the key reason behind the existence of OpenAI, the startup responsible for the creation of the fastest-growing business application of all time, ChatGPT.
“I am the reason OpenAI exists,” Musk asserted. “It wouldn’t exist without me.”
When questioned by CNBC interviewer David Faber about the extent of his financial investment in OpenAI, Musk responded, “I’m not sure the exact number, but it’s some number on the order of $50 million.”
Musk was indeed an early investor in the AI startup. OpenAI launched in 2015 with collective pledges of up to $1 billion from Musk and other technology luminaries like Reid Hoffman. OpenAI’s inception lured several leading AI experts away from established tech giants and prestigious academic institutions.
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However, in early 2018, Musk reportedly informed fellow OpenAI founder Sam Altman that he believed the venture was lagging fatally behind Google, according to sources cited by Semafor. Altman, along with other OpenAI founders, dismissed Musk’s proposal that Musk become the sole operator of OpenAI. Consequently, Musk distanced himself from the company and revoked a substantial planned donation. The aftermath of this decision has since reverberated throughout the industry and has helped shape the entire AI landscape as we know it today.
Haunted by his decision to depart
Despite his departure from OpenAI, Musk evidently remains invested in the development of an AI company capable of rivaling OpenAI. It was recently discovered that he is gearing up to launch a new artificial intelligence startup, X.AI, which will directly compete with OpenAI.
Musk was found to have discreetly incorporated X.AI in Nevada two months ago and authorized the sale of 100 million shares for the privately-held company. State filings indicate that Musk is the sole director of the new enterprise, with Jared Birchall, a close associate and director of Musk’s family office, serving as its secretary. The Financial Times reported Musk has been assembling a team of AI researchers and engineers, extending recruitment efforts to employees of leading AI firms such as Alphabet-owned DeepMind.
“A bunch of people are investing in it … it’s real and they are excited about it,” an individual with direct knowledge of the conversations informed the Financial Times.
Another characteristically bold TV interview
In addition to his involvement with X.AI, Elon Musk has discussed his work on “TruthGPT,” an alternative to ChatGPT that functions as a “maximum truth-seeking AI.”
During an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, the billionaire entrepreneur expounded on his vision for an AI rival, stressing the need for an alternative approach to AI development in order to avert humanity’s destruction.
As Elon Musk continues to make headlines with his assertions and ambitious AI ventures, the tech world eagerly anticipates the potential impact of his endeavors. With X.AI and TruthGPT in development, Musk’s vision for an alternative, truth-seeking AI could reshape the artificial intelligence landscape and redefine humanity’s relationship with this emergent technology.
Whether Musk’s latest projects truly hold the key to safeguarding humanity’s future or simply represent another bold chapter in his storied career remains to be seen. One thing is certain: when it comes to Elon Musk, the world is always watching.
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