February 27: Elon Musk, the mastermind behind SpaceX, Tesla, and recently, Twitter’s CEO, has finally pulled the trigger in the AI world today by establishing a new research lab that aims to build a ChatGPT-like model.
Why Elon Wants to Launch a ChatGPT Alternative
The driving force for this development can be attributed to Musk’s dissatisfaction with how OpenAI handled its affairs, particularly the decision to launch a for-profit company while maintaining a non-profit facade.
The Twitter CEO called out OpenAI for failing to fulfill the original vision of staying as a non-profit while serving “as a counterweight to Google”. Instead, Microsoft now owns 49% of it.
A few hours before his new research initiative has been unveiled, Elon tweeted about his “AI existential angst” while also conveying his gratefulness to be alive today in order to witness the coming of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence).
The lab is aimed at developing an alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has become a global hit among tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and almost anyone who wants to optimize their workflow. The Information reported that Elon has been recruiting AI researchers, including Igor Babuschkin, a former researcher from Alphabet’s DeepMind unit.
Babuschkin has confirmed that he and Elon have discussed the formation of a team to pursue AI research, but the project is still in its early stages, with no concrete plans to develop specific products yet. However, Babuschkin has not officially signed on to the initiative.
Elon’s AI Fears
ChatGPT, the text-based chatbot developed by OpenAI, has gained widespread recognition for its ability to draft prose, poetry, and computer code on demand. This has made it a popular tool for millions of users who use it for work-related tasks such as writing emails and researching topics.
Elon was one of the co-founders of OpenAI, but he stepped down from the board in 2018 to avoid any potential conflicts as Tesla expanded into the AI field for its autonomous vehicles. He has referred to ChatGPT as “scary good” but has also warned of the dangers of AI, calling for it to be safely regulated.
Despite his reservations, Elon’s latest move indicates a continued interest in its development. But it remains a mystery whether his actions primarily stem from a fear of the potential harm AI could inflict upon humanity or from excitement for its boundless future benefits. Perhaps a bit of both.
ChatGPT is available for free to anyone with an internet connection, but OpenAI has launched a paid version. Over the past few weeks, Elon has highlighted several bizarre AI-related stories, including Bing Chat‘s tendency to make “creepy” comments and ChatGPT’s presence in mainstream media. He has also maintained his stance that AI is “far more dangerous than nukes,” a statement he made approximately five years ago.
Elon’s “AI existential angst” is a reflection of the complex relationship between humans and AI. On one hand, AI has the potential to revolutionize the world and make our lives easier, but on the other hand, it also has the potential to wipe us off the face of the earth.
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