Elon Musk is working on a ‘truth-seeking’ rival to ChatGPT

18 Apr 2023

Elon Musk at GTC 2015. Image: Nvidia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Musk has spoken on the dangers of AI for years and has been critical of companies like OpenAI, but claims his own model ‘might be the best path to safety’.

Elon Musk has revealed that he’s working on a “maximum truth-seeking AI” that he’s calling TruthGPT to challenge the current AI market.

The SpaceX owner said in a Fox News interview that this AI will try to understand “the nature of the universe”, which he said “might be the best path to safety” for AI systems.

“An AI that cares about understanding the universe, it is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe,” Musk said.

Musk has been a long-time opponent of unchecked AI, describing it as “our biggest existential threat” in 2014. But he has also been involved in AI investment, being one of the co-founders of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.

In the Fox News interview, Musk criticised OpenAI and claimed the company is “training the AI to lie”. He also described his initial involvement in funding the company as “ironic”.

But while Musk is criticising companies such as OpenAI as an opponent to unchecked AI, he is on the path to becoming a competitor with the launch of his own AI company.

A recent state filing reveals that Musk created a new company on 9 March called X.AI to compete with OpenAI and join the generative AI race. This filing lists Musk as the company’s director, while his personal wealth manager, Jared Birchall, is listed as its secretary.

A recent Financial Times report suggests Musk has been assembling a team of AI researchers and engineers and is in talks with SpaceX and Tesla investors to pump money into his latest venture.

Musk’s plans to create his universe-understanding TruthGPT despite his recent decision to sign an open letter calling for a six-month pause on AI development of models more powerful than GPT-4, which is OpenAI’s latest AI model.

However, this letter faced a wave of criticism, with some signatures revealed to be fake, others reverting their support and AI experts sharing concerns that their research was used in the open letter, The Guardian reports. The organisation behind the open letter is primarily funded through the Musk Foundation.

Last week, it was revealed Twitter Inc no longer exists because it has been merged into X Corp, another company owned by Musk. The move is likely part of a broader plan to create an “everything app” in the style of China’s WeChat.

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Elon Musk at GTC 2015. Image: Nvidia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic