By Athik Saleh
Elon Musk’s next target is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The billionaire, who co-founded OpenAI, has reached out to AI researchers to develop an alternative to ChatGPT, ‘The Information’ outlet reported.
The Tesla chief reportedly held talks with Igot Babushkin, a former employee of Google’s DeepMind AI division, to lead the project.
Musk has been critical of OpenAI for installing safeguards in ChatGPT.
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
WHY DOES THIS STORY MATTER?
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has endless abilities. It can write code, engage in human-like conversations, write essays, and a lot more.
However, there are certain things it cannot do. Safeguards are in place to prevent the chatbot from generating offensive or inflammatory content, abusing users, or answering inappropriate questions.
Some people believe these safeguards aim to make the chatbot ‘woke.’
MUSK DOES NOT INTEND TO BUILD AI WITHOUT SAFEGUARDS
Although Musk has criticized OpenAI for installing safeguards, he does not intend to build an AI sans safeguards, Babushkin told The Information.
The two have discussed assembling a team to pursue research, but the talks are still in the early stages. They have not decided to develop a specific product yet, Babushkin said.
He added that he hasn’t officially joined Musk’s project.
BABUSHKIN SPECIALIZES IN LARGE LANGUAGE MODELS
Musk approached Babushkin to spearhead the project because of his expertise in large language models (LLMs).
LLMs power chatbots like ChatGPT. Although he said they did not discuss any specific projects, Babushkin’s expertise suggests Musk aims for a direct ChatGPT-rival.
MUSKS BELIEVES IN REGULATING AI
Musk has lauded ChatGPT’s abilities, calling the chatbot “scary good.” However, he has also asked for caution.
“We are not far from dangerously strong AI,” he once wrote on Twitter.
The Twitter CEO has called for regulating AI, believing it is a bigger risk to society than cars, planes, or medicine.
Regulating AI “might be a good thing,” Musk said.
MUSK LEFT OPENAI IN 2018
Musk was integral in the formation of OpenAI in 2015. However, he departed the company in 2018, as he did not agree with some of what OpenAI wanted to do.
Recently, he distanced himself further from OpenAI, saying the company is not the same as when he co-founded it.
He was alluding to OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft.
This post was published first here.