Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his security detail leave the company’s local office in Washington, January 27, 2023.
Jonathan Ernest | Reuters
You’re here CEO Elon Musk plans to launch an artificial intelligence startup that would take on OpenAI, the FinancialTimes reported Friday.
Musk – the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter – assembled a team of researchers and engineers and held conversations with several investors, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It is also said to have recruited other major AI companies, including Alphabetowned by DeepMind.
“It’s real and they’re thrilled about it,” a source familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
Musk got thousands of Nvidia GPU processors, according to the report. These chips are an integral part of building a large language model, or LLM, to compete with OpenAI’s GPT. Musk said he was acquiring the processors for his companies in a Twitter Spaces interview with the BBC this week.
“It seems like everyone and their dog is buying GPUs at this point,” Musk said. “Twitter and Tesla definitely buy GPUs.”
Musk was once a major backer of OpenAI, committing $1 billion over several years, according to an earlier Semafor report. But Musk waived financial and operational commitments to the AI company at the same time OpenAI added a for-profit business segment. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI shortly after Musk split from the group and earlier this year committed to a new multi-billion dollar investment.
Musk has publicly questioned the approach of OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT. In March, Musk signed an open letter calling for an immediate six-month halt to all research into AI models more advanced than OpenAI’s GPT-4. He said AI is “one of the greatest risks to the future of civilization”.
The company Musk flagged could become the latest entrant into an increasingly crowded space. Beyond Microsoft and Google, Amazon announced its entry into the generative AI space on Thursday.
Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.