AI has been the latest buzzword among tech companies. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is now also reportedly hiring people to develop a ChatGPT rival.
The Information reported that Musk is also recruiting former Alphabet researcher Igor Babuschkin who recently left the company’s DeepMind AI unit.
Notably, in 2015 Musk cofounded ChatGPT’s parent company OpenAI along with Sam Altman. It was a non-profit start-up, to begin with, and Musk left the company’s board in 2018.
Musk has of late been quite critical of OpenAI. He recently said that it has become a “maximum profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.” He emphasized that it was not what he “intended at all.”
OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.
Not what I intended at all.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
Notably, earlier this year Microsoft announced a multiyear multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI. The Windows maker was already an investor in OpenAI and has expanded the partnership.
Microsoft has also launched a ChatGPT-powered Bing. Google has also come up with Bard AI to defend its turf from Bing. Meanwhile, after Bard’s botched debut, Alphabet stock lost $100 billion in market cap.
Tech Companies launch ChatGPT Rivals
Several Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Alibaba are launching ChatGPT-like services. Expressing optimism over its AI offering, Baidu’s CEO Robin Li said, “Baidu stands as the best example of the long-term growth of China’s AI market and is advancing at the forefront of this new wave.”
An internal note shows that Baidu is looking to launch its AI chatbot Ernie in March. The company sees AI as a key growth driver. There is a list of companies that are a play on AI.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this month, Musk termed AI as “one of the biggest risks to the future of civilization.”
While Musk said, “It’s both positive or negative and has great, great promise, great capability,” he warned, “with that comes great danger.”
Notably, while acquiring Twitter also, Musk noted that he believes that the company cannot achieve its true potential as a public company.
Musk is Reportedly Looking to Launch a ChatGPT Rival
While Musk backed out of the deal, he subsequently relented amid the legal battle. However, not many would believe that Musk has changed Twitter for good. There have been reports of a surge in hate speech on the platform as Musk eased content moderation rules.
The self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” also restored many suspended accounts including that of former President Donald Trump.
AI War is Heating Up as Tech Giants Invest Billions
Despite the current slowdown where tech companies are resorting to mass layoffs, AI has been a shining spot. Incidentally, days after announcing mass layoffs, Microsoft announced that it would invest billions into OpenAI. While the deal size is not public, it is rumored to be around $10 billion.
There has been a funding winter for startup companies and many have shut down. Given the turmoil in public markets, valuations of private startup companies have also come down.
However, names like ChatGPT and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are still getting good interest from investors.
Musk Has Been at Loggerheads with Regulators
Meanwhile, even as several companies tout their AI capabilities, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has a word of caution. It said, “AI hype is playing out today across many products, from toys to cars to chatbots and a lot of things in between.”
It called upon advertisers to look at its previous guidance on AI, “which focused on fairness and equity but also said, clearly, not to overpromise what your algorithm or AI-based tool can deliver.”
Musk incidentally hasn’t had a good equation with regulators in general and in the past, he has locked horns with the SEC as well as NHTSA. He now wants the scrap the settlement with the SEC over his 2018 “taking Tesla private tweet.”
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