Elon Musk is the latest billionaire to join the likes of Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg in embracing AI chatbots. The Tesla CEO has reportedly approached Igor Babuschkin, an AI researcher who previously worked on Alphabet’s DeepMind AI, to form a research lab.
It should be noted that Musk co-founded OpenAI, the maker of the highly popular ChatGPT, with Sam Altman in 2015. He served as the company’s chairman, stepped down in 2018 because of a conflict of interest, and cut ties with OpenAI.
Now, with the race for artificial intelligence chatbots peaking, Musk wants to be part of it. Reports have been highlighting ChatGPT and competitors like Google’s Bard as having the potential to transform online lives by generating responses to emails, summarizing reports, answering queries, etc., in a conversational and creative tone.
As such, the SpaceX boss is in discussions with Babuschkin to form a team to pursue AI research for a ChatGPT alternative. The project is in its early stages, and there are no material plans to develop specific products. Moreover, it hasn’t been confirmed whether Babuschkin has officially joined the project.
Musk’s interests in artificial intelligence are also quite complicated. The tech entrepreneur had recently posted that “AI + human vs. AI + human is the next phase, but the human part will decrease in relevance over time, except perhaps as well, like our limbic system is to our cortex.”
And earlier this month, he warned that AI is one of the biggest risks to the future of civilization.
I think we need to regulate AI safety, frankly. It is, I think actually, a bigger risk to society than cars or planes, or medicine.”