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In brief: Elon Musk might be the richest man in the world with a net worth of $244.3 billion, but he still wants to raise $1 billion for his artificial intelligence startup xAI as the generative AI market becomes increasingly packed and competitive. The minimum amount someone can invest is $2 million, though it sounds as if Musk has already secured the funding.
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveals that xAI has already raised $135 million from four investors.
The filing adds that the minimum amount xAI will accept from outside investors is $2 million. However, anyone wishing to invest in Musk's company might find it's too late; a section of the document notes that the issuer has entered into a "binding and enforceable agreement" for the purchase and sale of the remaining $865.3 million.
As noted by Axios, which first broke the news of the filing, the only details Musk previously released about how his AI company would be funded was on November 19, when he posted that current shareholders in former Twitter platform X would own 25% of xAI.
Musk, who co-founded OpenAI in 2015 before walking away from the ChatGPT company in 2018, officially launched xAI back in July, marking the sixth company under his control. He said the firm's goal was pretty ambitious: discovering the "true nature of the universe."
Announcing Grok!– xAI (@xai) November 5, 2023
Grok is an AI modeled after the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so intended to answer almost anything and, far harder, even suggest what questions to ask!
Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don't use…
In November, xAI revealed Grok, a conversational chatbot in the style of ChatGPT. Available to those who pay $16 per month for X Premium, it apparently promises to answer any questions with wit and a rebellious streak and uses real-time knowledge of the world via X. It's also said to answer "spicy" questions rejected by other generative AIs and is "useful to people of all backgrounds and political views." Elon Musk once complained about ChatGPT being overly "woke" and biased, and said that he was working on a "TruthGPT" alternative.
News of the filing comes a day after Google unveiled its own ChatGPT competitor, Gemini AI. Amazon, meanwhile, announced in September that it is investing $4 billion in Anthropic, an AI startup founded by former OpenAI employees looking to develop "responsible" general AI systems and language models.
Musk has been vocal about the dangers of artificial intelligence in the past, calling for regulation of advanced AI, a ban on the technology being used in weapons, and warning that it is humanity's biggest existential threat. He also threatened to sue Microsoft for illegally using Twitter data, likely a reference to OpenAI using the data to train artificial intelligence models.