Elon Musk announces plans to develop TruthGPT, a “Maximum Truth-Seeking AI”

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO sets his sights on creating a third option to OpenAI and Google in the AI landscape.

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed his plans to develop a new chatbot called TruthGPT, which he described as a “maximum truth-seeking AI,” during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday. Musk expressed his desire to create a third option in the AI landscape, alongside Google and OpenAI, with the goal of “creating more good than harm.”

TruthGPT: A chatbot focused on understanding the universe

Musk envisions TruthGPT as an AI chatbot that is dedicated to understanding the nature of the universe. He believes that by focusing on this goal, TruthGPT will be less likely to pose a threat to humanity. “An AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe,” Musk said during his appearance on the Fox & Friends show.

Criticism of OpenAI

In the same interview, Musk expressed his concerns about OpenAI, an organization he played a significant role in founding. He questioned whether the company is genuinely doing any good and accused them of training their AI models to be politically correct, which he views as “another way of being untruthful.” This isn’t the first time Musk has publicly criticized OpenAI; in February, he took to Twitter to call the company “closed sourced” and “effectively controlled by Microsoft.”

An alternative AI path

Musk’s vision for TruthGPT seems to focus on providing an alternative to the current AI offerings from Google and OpenAI, emphasizing transparency and a dedication to understanding the universe. While the exact details of the project are still unknown, Musk’s announcement has generated significant interest and curiosity in the AI community. It remains to be seen how this new chatbot will be developed and how it might influence the existing AI landscape.

In March, Semafor reported a dispute between Elon Musk and OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman back in 2018. The disagreement began when Musk attempted to take control of the company, claiming it had “fallen fatally behind Google.” Altman and other co-founders resisted the move, leading to Musk’s departure from the organization.

Musk has long expressed concerns about AI becoming too powerful and potentially manipulating public opinion or causing “civilizational destruction.” Recently, he joined notable figures like Steve Wozniak and Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology in signing a letter calling for a temporary pause on training AI models more powerful than GPT-4.

This week, the Financial Times revealed that Musk has been working on developing an OpenAI rival, recruiting former DeepMind employee Igor Babuschkin to contribute to the project. However, it remains unclear whether Musk intends to build a Large Language Model (LLM) to compete with OpenAI and Google or focus on other areas of AI research, such as fairness in training models.

As TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey pointed out, Musk doesn’t need to create a cutting-edge product to make an impact in the AI market. Coldewey wrote, “One does not have to topple the market leader to influence events and gain a seat at the table — often all it takes is billions of dollars.” Musk has demonstrated time and again his ability to access substantial financial resources.

It is worth mentioning that TruthGPT might be a temporary project name, as OpenAI has applied for a trademark for the term “GPT.” As more information becomes available, the AI community will undoubtedly be watching closely to see how Musk’s new venture unfolds and its potential impact on the existing AI landscape.

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