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Elon Musk claimed on Friday that his new artificial intelligence company, xAI, could be trusted more than OpenAI and Google to build secure AI systems as computers become smarter than humans.
Discussing his AI plans on Twitter two days after the company̵[ads1]7;s launch, he didn’t shed light on how xAI’s work would differ from rivals years ahead or what kind of services it hoped to create.
xAI was launched this week with a mission to “understand the true nature of the universe”.
In a 90-minute discussion that drew more than 30,000 listeners on his social media site, Musk spoke at length about whether aliens exist and why superintelligent machines might decide not to destroy humanity, but said of xAI’s work: “We’re just starting here, this is really embryonic.”
xAI has joined a race to build machines with human-level intelligence, known as artificial general intelligence, or AGI. Earlier this year, Musk was one of the signatories of a letter asking for a six-month delay in the development of advanced AI to allow time for more focus on security.
“I’ve really struggled with this AGI thing for a long time, and I’ve been somewhat resistant to making it happen,” he said. “But it really seems at this point that AGI is going to happen, so there are two choices, either be a bystander or a participant. As a bystander, there’s not much you can do to affect the outcome.”
Musk said he first got involved in AI, as the founder of OpenAI, after deciding that Google co-founder Larry Page “just wasn’t at the time to take [AI safety] seriously enough”. He left OpenAI before it embarked on a series of breakthroughs in major language models that led to the launch of ChatGPT late last year.
The Tesla and SpaceX founder said OpenAI had become “gray for profit” and that Google and Microsoft were exposed to “all these ESG issues as public companies”. [environmental, social and governance] mandates and things that push companies in questionable directions’.
“As an unlisted company, xAI is not subject to market-based incentives, or non-market-based ESG incentives,” Musk said. “We are a little more free to operate.”