Elon Musk’s latest venture, xAI, has officially launched with a mission to “understand the true nature of the universe.” This independent entity will work closely with X Corp, Tesla, and other companies to push AI technology to new heights.
Elon Musk’s latest venture, xAI, has set a lofty goal of understanding the “true nature of the universe.” But in a recent tweet, Musk revealed that there’s more to xAI’s founding date than meets the eye. He posted a screenshot of xAI’s website introduction page, with the date “July 12, 2023” highlighted in red, along with the line: “7+12+23=42.” Musk believes that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, just like his literary idol, Douglas Adams.
Adams, the author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” believed that 42 represented the ultimate secret of the universe, life, and everything. And it seems that Musk has taken this idea to heart, as his fondness for the number 42 is well-documented. Even the Starship system features a total of 42 engines.
But while xAI may be positioned as an AI company, Musk has previously called for a pause in AI development, citing the need for regulation in the field. And the xAI team includes some heavy hitters, such as former DeepMind engineer Igor Babuschkin, former Google employee Tony Wu, former research scientist at Google Christian Szegedy, and former Microsoft employee Greg Yang.
xAI’s team is made up of experts from top companies and academic institutions, including DeepMind, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto. They have contributed to breakthrough projects such as AlphaStar, AlphaCode, Inception, Minerva, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4.
Greg Yang, one of the co-founders of xAI, has stated that the company will delve into the “mathematics of deep learning” to explore the “theory of everything” in AI. Elon Musk registered X.AI Corp in March and purchased thousands of high-performance GPU processors from Nvidia for the project in April.
With 12 founding members and expertise in various areas of AI, including Adam optimizer, Layer Normalization, BatchNorm, AlphaStar, and Transformer-XL, xAI is seen as a heavyweight player in the AI space. Its unique strengths include direct and legal access to a large corpus of multimodal data from Twitter dialogue text, images, and a growing collection of long videos and the experience of Tesla’s FSD team in building huge training clusters. Xai is the only AI company that has direct legal access to such an enormous daily-expanding corpus.
Tesla FSD team has years of experience in building huge training clusters, such as Dojo. Not to mention the tons of high-quality Tesla fleet data for machine perception. Tesla Bot would be the physical embodiment of the Xai brain, if they ever connect the two.
It’s also got an all-star founding team. I’m really impressed by the talent density. It’s great to see more competition in the foundation model space. Eager to see what’s next!