Elon Musk’s plans for his own AI company are starting to come into focus. The Twitter CEO said that he wants to “create a third option” for a company that could challenge OpenAI and Google.
In an interview with Fox News, Musk said that he’s thinking of calling the venture “TruthGPT” and that the goal would be to create a “maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe” and that “hopefully does more good than harm.”
Musk acknowledged that he would be starting with a significant disadvantage to his rivals as he’s “starting late.” And, as is often the case, it’s unclear how serious or far along his plans actually are. But speculation about Musk’s AI ambitions has been mounting as he recently filed paperwork for a business called X.AI Corp. He also reportedly bought thousands of GPUs and hired researchers from DeepMind for an unknown Twitter AI project. It’s unclear if the two initiatives are related. Musk has been known to move employees across his companies.
Musk said his motivation stemmed from concerns about the direction of AI and the threat it could pose to humanity. Notably, he was an early backer of OpenAI, which he helped start in 2015. But Musk distanced himself from the organization after a reported disagreement with Sam Altman about who would run the organization. More recently, he has criticized OpenAI for spinning off a for-profit business and working with Microsoft.
While it’s unclear how Musk’s AI plans could affect Twitter, he did tease one upcoming feature for the service. He said Twitter was working on a feature that would allow users to optionally encrypt their direct messages, and that it’s “hopefully coming out later month, but no later than next month.”
Encrypted direct messaging has been rumored for years and Musk, a known fan of encrypted messaging apps, has previously said that Twitter should offer Signal-style encryption. “If you are in a conversation you think is sensitive, you can just toggle encryption on and then no one at Twitter can see what you’re talking about,” Musk explained.