Last summer, Elon Musk founded xAI, a startup aiming to revolutionize artificial intelligence (AI). Today, xAI announced the raising of US$6 billion in financing, a significant milestone that promises to accelerate the arrival of the company’s first products to market, build an advanced technological infrastructure and instigate research and development of new technologies.

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Launch of Grok and the xAI difference

To date, xAI has released Grok, a described as bolder version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Available through the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, Grok is currently only accessible to X Premium subscribers. This initial launch highlights xAI’s ambition to offer differentiated and more accessible AI solutions.

Recent funding has come from several renowned sources, including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal. This substantial investment follows an increasing fundraising trajectory, which began with an initial goal of $1 billion in equity investments last year.

Recently, the Financial Times reported that xAI was seeking up to $6 billion, a claim that Musk initially denied but has now come to fruition with the current announcement.

The hardware challenge and the vision for the future

Developing cutting-edge AI technologies is not a cheap task. The hardware needed to power these advances, like Nvidia’s new Blackwell B200 AI graphics cards, can cost between $30,000 and $40,000 each.

According to a report from The Information, xAI will need 100,000 of Nvidia’s current H100 chips for a supercomputer that will support an improved version of the Grok chatbot. Musk reportedly informed investors that the goal is to open this new data center by the fall of 2025.

The race for leadership in AI is fierce, and major technology companies are investing billions of dollars in AI startups like Anthropic. Furthermore, giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta are directing considerable resources towards their own AI projects. Microsoft, for example, has entered into a billion-dollar partnership with OpenAI, whose CEO Sam Altman is seeking trillions of dollars to transform the global chip industry.

Elon Musk, OpenAI is the future of IA

Elon Musk with the xAI logo

Elon Musk, one of the founding members of OpenAI (but no longer part of it), currently has conflicts of interest with the company, claiming that it has strayed from its original mission of benefiting humanity. Despite his disagreements with OpenAI, Musk remains committed to advancing AI through xAI.

In addition to his xAI initiatives, Musk has stated that he would “prefer to build products outside of Tesla” in the field of AI and robotics unless he gains more control over these initiatives within the company. This statement comes at a time when Tesla shareholders are about to vote on whether to restore Musk’s $56 billion compensation package, a decision that will be made at the company’s annual meeting on June 13.

Fonte: The Verge


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