Musk will integrate xAI with the social media platform X

Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup xAI will be integrated into his social media platform X and available as a standalone app, the billionaire said in a post on Sunday. He also said xAI released its first AI model, a bot named Grok that aims to answer questions with a bit of wit.

Grok will be made available to all X Premium+ subscribers after it exits the beta phase, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said. The bot, a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sci-fi book series, can answer almost anything users ask and is designed to respond with humorous responses, according to the xAI team. It has access to real-time knowledge via X and can use that data to answer questions in an instant, the company says.

The xAI website describes its mission as to create AI tools that “assist humanity in its quest for understanding and knowledge.” It has assembled teams of experienced researchers from top tech firms, including Google DeepMind, ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Microsoft Research, Tesla and the University of Toronto. It is advised by Dan Hendricks, founder of the Center for AI Safety and a longtime advocate for careful AI research.

Musk has been vocal about his concerns that AI could be used to harm humans, warning of the possibility of “civilization destruction” in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. He founded xAI in July to build an AI that seeks out the truth rather than unthinkingly following human biases. The goal is to develop an AI that can be trusted not to wreak havoc on society.

During the launch, Musk said that his new venture is taking on the titans of the AI world, like OpenAI and Google DeepMind. The billionaire aims to develop an alternative to those firms that are more interested in grasping reality and solving problems that touch on major existential concerns.

xAI’s website describes the company as independent from its parent X Corp, but it notes it will work closely with X and other companies in Musk’s network. Its founding team includes former employees from X’s research arm, including Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever.

The site also lists an advisory board that contains a handful of prominent scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs, including ex-Googler and co-founder of Linkedin Reid Hoffman. Other members include the founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz, and the chief scientist of Uber Technologies, Rafah Alwatan. xAI has raised over $300 million in funding from investors, according to the website. The company is based in San Francisco. Its backers include Qualcomm, SoftBank Vision Fund, and Greycroft Partners. It has also received investment from the governments of France and Canada. The startup is not publicly trading. Its most recent funding round was a $75 million financing round in January of this year. The previous one was a $25 million funding round in March 2017. In that round, the company was valued at $800 million.

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