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Elon Musk Develops AI at Twitter While Advising Others to Pause

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Elon Musk has reportedly purchased 10,000 graphics processing units (GPU) to work on AI large language models.
  • According to sources, he remains committed to the project.
  • Last month, Musk signed an open letter calling for an industry-wide pause on AI developments for six months.
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Elon Musk is reportedly investing millions into developing artificial Intelligence (AI). Ironically, he also signed an open letter calling for a pause on AI development.

According to Business Insider, “Chief Twit” recently purchased 10,000 graphics processing units (GPU) to work on AI large language models (LLM). LLMs are trained on large data to create their own text, similar to chatbots such as ChatGPT.

Elon Musk Committed to AI Development

Sources familiar with the matter told Insider that Musk’s AI project is at an early stage. However, a large-scale purchase of GPU shows that he is committed to the artificial intelligence project.

One Twitter user, AI Breakfast, tweeted, “For reference, the flagship machine learning A100 GPU cost $15,000+ each.” This figure suggest that Musk has spent at least tens of millions on the project, even after deducting any sort of bulk discounts.

Additionally, the Twitter Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has hired talents from Alphabet’s AI research laboratory – DeepMind.

Regarding Musk’s purpose for building AI, the news outlet’s sources said exactly how he plans to utilize the tech was unclear. Though they mentioned two possible use cases: One for improving search, and another for advertising.

Agenda Against OpenAI?

Last month, Musk signed an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on training AI systems more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4. He cited “profound risks to society and humanity” as a reason for the pause. As of writing, the letter has received 22,196 signatures.

Musk has been secretly collecting resources to develop his AI infrastructure despite calling for the pause. A Twitter user wrote, “This is why he wanted to put a six-month freeze on OpenAI and ChatGPT.”

It is worth mentioning that Musk co-founded OpenAI along with Sam Altman but left the project in 2018. He explained on Twitter:

OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.

Not what I intended at all.”

Source: Twitter

OpenAI also had access to Twitter’s database for training purposes. But Musk recently withdrew it. It would be interesting to speculate who comes out as a winner in the AI war. 

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