SAN FRANCISCO – Billionaire Elon Musk has formed an artificial intelligence (AI) corporation based in the American state of Nevada, according to business documents that surfaced on Friday.
Mr Musk, who is already the boss of Twitter and Tesla, was listed as director of X.AI Corp, founded on March 9, a state business filing indicated.
He recently merged Twitter with a newly created shell company called X, keeping the brand name for the platform but not the business.
Mr Musk’s founding of what appears to be a rival to ChatGPT-maker OpenAI came despite recently calling for an overall pause in developing AI.
He has bought thousands of powerful, costly computing processors and hired engineering talent as part of an AI project at Twitter, according to an Insider report.
Meanwhile, Mr Musk has slashed staff at Twitter as part of dramatic cost-cutting measures since his US$44 billion (S$58.5 billion) takeover of the San Francisco firm late last year.
The founding date of X.AI was several weeks before Mr Musk joined experts in signing an open letter calling for a hiatus in the development of AI.
The open letter, published on the website of the Future of Life Institute funded by Mr Musk, urged a six-month pause in development of powerful AI systems.
The Tesla chief and other luminaries wrote that “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity”.
The signatories, who included academics and technology titans like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, argued that the pause should be used to bolster regulation and ensure the systems were safe.
Critics, however, called the letter a “hot mess” of “AI hype” that even misrepresented an academic paper.
Big tech companies like Google, Meta and Microsoft have spent years working on AI systems – previously known as machine learning or big data – to help with translations, search and targeted advertising.
But late last year, San Francisco firm OpenAI supercharged the interest in AI when it launched ChatGPT, a bot that can generate natural language text from a short prompt.
Mr Musk co-founded OpenAI but left the company in 2018.
Microsoft has since announced it is investing billions of dollars in OpenAI and has put that technology to work in its Bing Internet search service. AFP