Elon Musk has revealed his plans to launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) platform that he calls “TruthGPT”, or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe. As I reported in February, the new chatbot will be a rival to OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's GPT-powered Bing Chat.
Musk made the announcement in an interview with Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson that aired on Monday, April 17. He said that he was dissatisfied with the current state of AI research and development, especially with OpenAI.
Musk, who co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but left its board in 2018, has been very critical of the path the organization has taken since then. He accuses OpenAI of “training the AI to lie” and said that it has now become a “closed source”, “for-profit” organization “closely allied with Microsoft”. In response, Musk says he is creating an AI that will provide “maximum truth” to users:
“I'm going to start something which I call ‘TruthGPT', or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk says. “And I think this might be the best path to safety, in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe, it is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”
Musk said that he has been poaching AI researchers from Google to launch his new startup, which he registered last month as X.AI Corp. He said that his goal is to create an AI that can write incredibly well and potentially manipulate public opinions, but only for good purposes.
“It has the potential of civilizational destruction,” he said of AI. “But it also has the potential of civilizational salvation.”
Is Musk Just Looking for Revenge on OpenAI?
OpenAI started as a not-for-profit company that was literally meant to create open AI solutions. Since then, Microsoft invested $1 billion into the company in 2019 and became co-developer on some AI projects. Earlier this year, Microsoft injected another $10 billion into OpenAI and now reportedly takes 49% of all profits that now for-profit organization makes.
Microsoft has leveraged that partnership to mainstream AI across its services. GPT-4 now underpins now AI solutions such as Office (Microsoft 365 Copilot), Bing (Bing Chat and Bing Image Creator), Microsoft Cloud (Azure OpenAI Service), CRM/ERP (Dynamics 365 Copilot), and programming (GitHub Copilot X).
Musk recently said OpenAI's direction and close ties to Microsoft was “not what I intended” when starting the company.
As a long-time critic of rapid AI development, Musk used the interview to reiterate his concerns. He says that the technology is more dangerous than mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production. He said that he had met with former U.S. President Barack Obama when he was president and told him that Washington needed to “encourage AI regulation”.
Last month, Elon Musk led the FutureOfLife initiative, a project that wants to place more controls on AI development over concerns about the emergence of artificial general intelligence (AGI). An open letter from the project urged all AI developers to cease development of AI potentially more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months.
Tip of the day: With many reachable wireless access points popping up and disappearing again, the available networks list can become quite annoying. If needed you can use the allowed and blocked filter list of Windows to block certain WiFi networks or all unknown WiFi networks.