AI: Elon Musk plans to raise $1 billion for his xAI startup

Its ambition is to compete with OpenAI (creator of ChatGPT) and Google. Artificial intelligence startup xAI, founded by Elon Musk, is in the process of raising hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a document filed with the SEC, the U.S. stock market watchdog, on Tuesday.

The spring-founded company hopes to raise up to $1 billion in a stock offering, according to its SEC filing. It details that it has already raised nearly $135 million from four investors, with the first sale taking place on November 29, and says it has entered into a “binding agreement” for the remainder of the shares to be sold.

Executives from Tesla, SpaceX, X (formerly Twitter) and Neuralink created xAI in response to the rise of OpenAI, which popularized generative artificial intelligence (AI). This technology, labeled 2023, allows you to create text, images and lines of code on a simple wish in ordinary language.

‘Grok’, a new generative AI chatbot with a ‘rebellious side’

In early November, Elon Musk unveiled “Grok,” a generative AI chatbot as ChatGPT with real-time access “to the world’s knowledge through Platform X,” a “unique and critical advantage,” according to the xAI website. “Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious side, so don’t use it if you hate humor!”, the startup further elaborates. “It will also answer spicy questions that most other AI systems refuse to answer.” Access to the Grok prototype is currently reserved for a limited number of users.

OpenAI received commitments worth $13 billion from Microsoft at the beginning of the year.

This funding round from xAI comes as OpenAI experienced a chaotic few days last month, when chief Sam Altman was fired by the board before being called back to the helm. According to press reports, the stormy episode delayed the stock sale, which would have valued the company at between $80 billion and $90 billion.

In 2015, Elon Musk, together with Sam Altman and others, founded OpenAI as a non-profit organization with the goal of conducting so-called “open source” research and not letting Google dominate this technology. He then left and is now one of the company’s most vocal critics. “It wouldn’t exist without me, I came up with the name,” he said in an interview with CNBC last May, saying he was an “idiot” not to retain some of the control.

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