According to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk’s firm, xAI, has already received almost $135 million in commitments from investors. The document was signed by Jared Birchall, a longtime Musk adviser who runs his family office.
Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but eventually tangled with its other leaders and left the company’s board. At the time, he said he was leaving over concerns that his work at Tesla—which has its own artificial intelligence initiatives—posed a possible conflict of interest.
In truth, he and OpenAI’s executives had a “power struggle,” as Semafor previously reported. Musk and his loyalists felt the startup was moving too slowly, and he suggested putting himself in charge. When his bid for control was shot down, Musk left.
xAI debuted over the summer with an all-male team and an expansive mission: “to understand the true nature of the universe.” The company has since released a chatbot called Grok, inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, whose answers are intended to deliver a “bit of wit” and “a rebellious streak,” xAI’s website says.
Musk has derided other artificial intelligence firms as overly “woke.” And this fall, as OpenAI was experiencing an epic bout of corporate dysfunction, he seemed to be enjoying the fireworks.
During the tumult, after fellow cofounder Sam Altman was briefly ousted from the company, Musk quipped that OpenAI might consider registering the domain name “Instability.AI.”
In the end, Altman was replaced, and OpenAI—which has been valued at more than $80 billion—once again secured its dominant position in the AI race.
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