Twitter CEO Elon Musk has long had an axe to grind with OpenAI and ChatGPT.
After insinuating that he thinks the bot is “woke” and teasing his own “anti-woke” AI, Musk has finally revealed that he’s working on “TruthGPT,” a brazenly named alternative to the popular chatbot that will serve as a “maximum truth-seeking AI,” in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
“I’m going to start something which I call ‘TruthGPT’ or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk told an incredulous-looking Carlson.
But whether Musk, who already has a lot on his plate, will be able to pull off the establishment of a successful AI product when competitors like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google already have a massive foothold is anything but certain.
For one, his eccentric vision is anything but tangible, and dare we say, a little out there.
In Musk’s mind, an AI that “understands” the universe is the “best path to safety.” His reasoning for this verges on the metaphysical, asserting that “an AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”
His supposed proof of this is humans’ desire to protect chimpanzees, when we could easily “hunt down” and “kill them.”
“We’re actually glad that they exist, and we aspire to protect their habitats,” Musk said, as quoted by The Verge. Though, if Musk were really interested in their protection, he might want to disclose how his company Neuralink has been treating other primates.
While Musk has name-dropped “TruthGPT” before, it’s the first time that he’s publicly announced his intentions of building a bot by that name on his own.
And as the name suggests, Musk’s latest venture is a direct response to the perceived political correctness and censorship of ChatGPT.
“What’s happening is they’re training an AI to lie,” Musk said of OpenAI in the interview.
“To comment on some things, not comment on other things,” he added. “Not to say what the data actually demands that it says.”
Sure, OpenAI is a patently sleazy company whose own CEO Sam Altman is prone to spouting nonsense himself, but an AI truth crusade is pretty rich coming from Musk, who doesn’t even seem to be standing by his own convictions on AI.
On one hand, Musk has long warned of the dangers of AI, calling for further regulation of the rapidly advancing technology. In the recent Fox News interview, Musk stated that he believes it has the “potential of civilization destruction.”
He’s seemingly backed up these fears by recently signing a letter calling for a moratorium on developing AI more advanced than OpenAI’s GPT-4 model.
Yet, now it appears that Musk has no qualms about developing a universe-understanding AI, which could potentially surpass the very limits on AI he called for.
So which is it? Was he supporting the letter’s sentiment in good faith, or was he buying himself time to catch up with his already well-established competition?
Besides, we have no idea if Musk’s TruthGPT even exists at this point beyond the recent establishment of an AI company called X.AI.
At the end of the day, we’ll believe that Musk is creating an AI in the name of the truth as much as we’ll believe his claims that Tesla vehicles will be fully driving themselves by “next year” — a promise he’s made since 2014.
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