Elon Musk’s AI startup X.AI files to raise $1 billion in funding to advance AI for the good of humanity
The filing on Tuesday revealed that the company has secured around $135 million from four investors. The initial sale took place on November 29, and there’s a “binding and enforceable agreement” for the acquisition of the remaining shares.
The news comes just a month after xAI announced it would release its first AI model to a limited group on November 4. “Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor!” X.AI wrote on its website, adding, “It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.”
In July, Musk launched xAI with “the goal of understanding the true nature of the universe.” The xAI team includes experts from Google’s DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and other leading AI research firms. They have contributed to significant projects like DeepMind’s AlphaCode and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 chatbots. Musk seems to position xAI as a competitor to established companies like OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic, which have developed prominent chatbots like ChatGPT, Bard, and Claude.
Musk co-founded OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) in 2015 but stepped down from the company’s board in 2018. Musk also expressed criticism of Big Tech’s AI endeavors and censorship. Then earlier this year, Musk revealed plans to launch a truth-centric AI aiming to comprehend the nature of the universe, aiming to compete with Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing AI.
News about the xAI first surfaced in The Financial Times in April. The report also mentioned that Musk had acquired a substantial number of GPU processors from Nvidia to potentially power a large-scale language model. During a taped interview on Fox News Channel in the same month, Musk disclosed his plans for a new AI tool called “TruthGPT.” He expressed concerns that existing AI companies prioritize systems that are overly focused on being “politically correct.”
While Musk-owned X and xAI are distinct entities, they maintain close collaboration. Additionally, xAI engages in collaborative work with Tesla and various other companies.