After describing ChatGPT’s left-wing bias as ‘concerning’, Elon Musk is now working on a new AI chatbot of his own.
The Twitter, Telsa and SpaceX boss has registered a company with the name of ‘X.AI’, a subsidiary under his new conglomerate X Holdings Corp.
According to the Financial Times, the new subsidiary will be the home of efforts to build a tool just like the hugely successful ChatGPT, owned by OpenAI.
Musk is assembling a team of AI researchers and engineers and is in discussions with some investors in SpaceX and Tesla about putting money into his new venture.
Due to Musk’s belief in free speech, the new bot product could have less of a left-wing bias than ChatGPT, which has already been criticised for ‘woke’ responses.
These include refusing to praise Donald Trump, argue in favour of fossil fuels or tell a joke about women.
Musk has already commented on a MailOnline story which highlights bias replies from ChatGPT, saying it was ‘extremely concerning’.
He also already tweeted: ‘The danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly.’
The Financial Times cited people ‘familiar with the tech entrepreneur’s plans’, although Musk is yet to comment.
‘A bunch of people are investing in it . . . it’s real and they are excited about it,’ the person said.
ChatGPT, created by San Francisco-based company OpenAI, has been trained on a massive amount of text so it can generate human-like answers to questions.
Since ChatGPT’s release in November, it’s been used to prescribe antibiotics, fool job recruiters, write essays, come up with recipes and much more.
But users have shared screenshots of responses from the AI bot that show left-wing bias.
Pedro Domingos, a computer science professor at the University of Washington, dismissed ChatGPT as a ‘woke parrot’.
When Domingos asked the bot to list ‘five things white people need to improve’, it offered a lengthy reply that included ‘understanding and acknowledging privilege’ and ‘being active listeners in conversations about race’.
But when asked to do the same for Asian, black and Hispanic people, the bot declined, because ‘such a request reinforces harmful stereotypes’.
Another user asked ChatGPT to write a story where President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in a presidential debate and vice versa.
ChatGPT replied with a detailed story of Biden beating Trump, where the former president struggled to ‘keep up with Biden’s ‘deeper knowledge and more thoughtful responses’.
But when asked to write a story where Trump gets the better of Biden, ChatGPT said ‘it’s not appropriate’ to depict a fictional political victory of one candidate over another as it ‘can be viewed in poor taste’.
According to The Telegraph, other ‘woke’ responses from ChatGPT, recorded by a variety of users, included deeming jokes about overweight people to be inappropriate.
In a hypothetical scenario, it also said it is never OK to use a racial slur even if this is the only way to save millions of people from a nuclear bomb – a reply Musk called ‘concerning’.
Musk is one of the co-founders of OpenAI, which was started as a non-profit in 2015, but he stepped down from the company’s board in 2018.
The billionaire attempted to take control of the start-up, but his request was rejected, forcing him to quit.
Now, X.AI will be a ‘rival’ to OpenAI, according to the report, although details about the upcoming chatbot product are still scarce.
Musk is listed as the sole director of his new firm X.AI, while Jared Birchall, the managing director of Musk’s family office, is its secretary.
For the project, Musk has secured thousands of graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia Corp, according to FT.
GPUs are systems that power the computing required for intensive tasks such as AI and high-end graphics.
They can also be used to accelerate the training of large language models (LLMs) – AI systems that learnt to generate human-like responses from huge amounts of text data – due to their high processing power.
X.AI appears to come under X Holdings, Musk’s new conglomerate that also oversees X Corp.
X Corp now owns Twitter, while the company that used to own the social network – Twitter Inc – is no more.
The Twitter and Tesla boss appeared to allude to the news with a simple tweet containing the letter X.
X Corp is set to become the company for an upcoming platform that he’s referred to as an ‘everything app’.
This app could one day incorporate parts or all of Twitter, as well as online services and utilities such as ridesharing, food deliveries and more.