We’ve been hearing rumblings about Elon Musk’s new AI venture, xAI, for months, and now it looks like it’s almost here. The Tesla CEO and noted social media guru just took to Twitter/X to proclaim that his AI venture will launch its first model tomorrow, November 4.
This is a beta phase, of a sort, as it’s being released only to a “select group”, though Musk didn’t specify as to what went into the selection process. Will it be a random drop or will the AI model be reserved for “VIPs” like, uh, Tucker Carlson, Chaya Raichik or the indefatigable Catturd? It’s anyone’s guess.
Musk is making lofty promises about his AI, announcing that “in some important respects, it is the best that currently exists.” It’ll be competing with big-time offerings by OpenAI, Google, Meta and numerous others, so we’ll see what “important respects” make it the best that currently exists.
The lofty promises started right from the get-go with xAI, as its intended purpose is quite literally “to understand the true nature of the universe.” That’s a far cry from asking a chatbot what hotel to stay at or what you can cook with two cucumbers and a bag of spinach. Musk has had an endless string of issues lately, including flagging Tesla sales and, you know, that whole Twitter thing, so we’ll see if he can successfully unravel the true nature of reality.
The timing here doesn’t seem to be a coincidence. Elon Musk spoke this week at the inaugural UK AI Safety Summit, where the UK and US alike announced investments in AI guardrails. Additionally, OpenAI is holding its first-ever DevDay on November 6, so Musk could be looking to take the wind out of the company’s sails. The two companies are not only rivals, but Musk was actually an initial board member at OpenAI with Sam Altman in 2015 before a falling out that led to a swift divestment.
In any event, we have mere hours before we understand the true nature of the universe. I’ll make the popcorn, if popcorn even exists after tomorrow. Exciting times!