Elon Musk, who needs no introduction, is at it again. This time, he has set his sights on the world of AI language models with his new venture, a competitor to ChatGPT. But before we delve into the nitty-gritty of this latest development, let’s talk about Elon Musk himself and the reputation he has garnered over the years.
Many people know him as the visionary entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal, launched the electric car company Tesla, and is leading the charge on space exploration with SpaceX. But behind the scenes, there are those who question his character and motives. Some have accused him of being a conman with a short attention span, easily losing interest in things once the initial excitement wears off.
One need only look at his recent acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion to see an example of this behaviour. Musk made headlines last year when he purchased the social media giant, only for Twitter to have been subjected to a series of troubling moves that equate to serious red flags, many decisions made without thinking them through and causing some negative fallout. It’s not hard to see why some may view this move as impulsive and lacking foresight.
So, what does all of this have to do with his new AI language model venture to try and compete with ChatGPT? Well, it raises the question of whether Musk’s involvement in this space is driven by genuine interest and commitment or if it’s just another shiny object that caught his eye. After all, this isn’t the first time he’s dabbled in AI, having previously been involved with OpenAI, a research institute focused on artificial intelligence, a company he now criticises.
But regardless of his motives, Musk’s involvement in the AI language model space is significant. ChatGPT, OpenAI’s flagship product, has been hailed as a breakthrough in natural language processing, capable of generating human-like text with startling accuracy. More competition is always good, especially in AI, and we are currently seeing an arms race amongst some of the bigger companies. For OpenAI to have a monopoly would be a bad thing. So, if Elon wants to level the playing field, it’s a good thing (if he can stay focused long enough to launch it).
Microsoft came out swinging with BingGPT, based on ChatGPT and leveraging what many believe to be close to GPT-4. Google has Bard (although it sounds like a garbage product at the moment). Elon has the connections to build a ChatGPT rival, but like his other ventures, will he lose interest when something new and shiny catches his eye?