Elon Musk has approached AI researchers in recent weeks about forming a new research lab to develop an alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the Information reported on Monday, citing people with direct knowledge of the effort.
Tesla and Twitter chief Musk has been recruiting Igor Babuschkin, a researcher who recently left Alphabet’s DeepMind AI unit, the report said.
The report comes after ChatGPT, a text-based chatbot developed by OpenAI that can draft prose, poetry or even computer code on command, gained widespread attention in Silicon Valley.
Musk, who had co-founded OpenAI along with Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman in 2015 as a nonprofit startup, had left its board in 2018, but chimed in with his take on the chatbot, calling it “scary good”.
Musk and Babuschkin have discussed assembling a team to pursue AI research but the project is still in the early stages, with no concrete plan to develop specific products, the report said quoting an interview with the latter.
Babuschkin added that he has not officially signed onto the Musk initiative, according to the report.
Musk and Babuschkin could not be reached immediately for comments.
Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has exploded in popularity and compelled tech giants to jump in the AI race. Several companies are developing their own ChatGPT-style AI chatbot.
China’s Baidu is working on Ernie Bot to rival ChatGPT and revamp its search engine. Earlier this week, Baidu CEO said the company will use its ChatGPT-like app Ernie Bot to create a “revolutionary” version of its popular search engine.
Baidu, which has invested heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years, is regarded as at the forefront of efforts to create a Chinese rival to the AI platform developed by OpenAI and backed by Microsoft.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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