Elon Musk is beginning a new startup company called xAI in an effort to “understand the true nature of the universe.” Musk took to twitter yesterday to announce the company launch by saying, “Announcing formation of @xAI to understand reality.”
A mere four months ago, Musk was one of many to sign an open letter putting a pause to large AI experiments in order to avoid “profound risks to society and humanity.” A short month after the open letter, there were reports of Elon Musk purchasing thousands of GPU units.
There is the possibility of xAI being a way for Musk to try to up show OpenAI, which he co- founded back in 2015. Musk left OpenAI just 3 years later in 2018 due to disagreements, causing people to speculate his motivations for xAI.
The company has already collected a strong team of executives and AI professionals from tech giant companies such as Google and Microsoft. From Google, xAI now has a research scientist, Christian Szegedy, and DeepMind expert, Toby Pohlen. Perhaps most notably, xAI has hired Jimmy Ba, who was the mentee of the “Godfather of AI,” Geoffrey Hinton. Ba was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and studied under Hinton as he was pioneering AI.
They are still actively recruiting and hiring skilled professionals in the engineer and research space to further their mission of “understand[ing] reality.” xAI is located in the San Francisco Bay Area amongst many other tech companies, including Twitter’s headquarters.
This Friday, July 14th, on Twitter there will be an opportunity to “meet the team and ask us questions during a Twitter Spaces chat.” You can also go to xAI’s website to see the full team and see more information about the startup.