So much for the importance of halting the development of artificial intelligence.
This week, Elon Musk – the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and the owner of Twitter – announced he would be starting and heading up a new company called xAI that will focus on developing artificial intelligence.
He didn’t provide many details about what this new firm would do, but the company did post a message on its website that read:
“The goal of xAI is to understand the true nature of the universe.”
The company’s official Twitter account, @xAI, also posted its first message on the platform this week that asked:
“What are the most fundamental unanswered questions?”
And Musk himself tweeted on Wednesday:
“Announcing formation of @xAI to understand reality.”
Musk is part of the team of 12 people who are behind the new firm that’s focused on artificial intelligence. They held a Twitter Spaces event for people to join and ask questions of them. It was a general conversation about AI that was held with the xAI team as well as Democratic Representative Ro Khanna of California and Republican Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.
Both of those members of Congress have been outspoken about both the potential dangers and benefits of AI.
That’s been a hot topic in the U.S. recently, with everyone from politicians to the heads of big tech companies warning that there could be disastrous consequences of AI if it’s not reigned in. Earlier this week, the entire U.S. Senate was invited to a classified briefing about artificial intelligence, which was the first such meeting of its kind.
After the hearing was held, Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said:
“AI has this extraordinary potential to make our lives better. If it doesn’t kill us first.”
Khanna said a few months ago that the right antitrust legislation has to be in place regarding AI without also undermining the many positive things that AI brings to the table. Khanna is very interested in the topic because his district covers Silicon Valley.
The California congressman also said he was happy that he would be engaging with Musk on the topic. As he said of Musk back in April:
“I’ve always engaged with him, and I think he’s a brilliant entrepreneur, one of the most talented entrepreneurs in the world. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t let him know I think he does things that are wrong, and I disagree with him. But, I engage with him.”
What’s interesting about Musk launching an AI company is that very recently, he was outspoken about how the world needs to stop the development of AI technologies until we can all figure out how to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.
Gallagher pointed this out when he spoke with Bloomberg on Tuesday, saying that he considers Musk “the most prominent name associated with the AI pausers, those who are concerned about the existential risk and want to pause.”
Yet, here Musk is, launching a new AI firm. Maybe he believes that if he has control of it, there won’t be any concerns.