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Musk's xAI raised $6 billion

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Vote of confidence from major investors in AI startup that launches chatbot Grok

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Elon Musk's artificial intelligence startup xAI has been valued at $24 billion after fundraising./PHOTO: A.P

xAI, Elon Musk's artificial intelligence startup, has raised $6 billion, launching a new round of showdown with arch-enemies OpenAI behemoth. The fundraising comes less than a year after xAI's debut and marks one of the largest investments in the AI ​​industry.

Musk was a key supporter and funder of OpenAI long before it unveiled the much-discussed ChatGPT at the end of 2022, but he fell out with his former partners, withdrew from the project, and has since advocated cautious development of the technology due to its potential risks. To fund xAI, he drew on several of the investors who backed his other ventures, including electric car company Tesla and his acquisition of the social network Twitter, which he renamed X.

Musk's fundraising marks a new escalation in the AI ​​arms race

Among others, venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital and Fidelity Management & Research, as well as Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Kingdom Holding. xAI's pre-fundraising valuation was $18 billion, Musk said, meaning the move will bring the startup's valuation to $24 billion. This money will be used to bring “xAI's first products to market, create advanced infrastructure and accelerate research and development of future technologies,” he explained.

Musk's fundraising marks a new escalation in the AI ​​arms race. Leading AI startups have raised billions of dollars in recent years to fund the computing resources needed to train large language models (LLMs), the technology that powers AI chatbots. ChatGPT creator OpenAI has secured $13 billion in funding from Microsoft, while Anthropic has raised over $6 billion.

With xAI, Musk is stepping into the “game” against his more well-funded rivals. It unveiled xAI in July last year, leading some investors to question that it has enough time to compete with established AI companies. His startup released the Grok chatbot in November and made it available to subscribers on the social networking platform X. Earlier this year, it unveiled its latest AI model, called Grok-1.5.

Musk founded OpenAI as a non-profit for-profit research lab in 2015 with Sam Altman, the giant's current CEO, but left the company after a dispute over control. Tensions between the two powerful men recently came to light when Musk sued OpenAI, Altman himself, as well as other executives, alleging they “breached the founding agreement” by pursuing private commercial success instead of working for the benefit of the company. humanity. Genetic AI has so far proven very expensive to develop, in part due to the need for massive amounts of computing power and energy to train LLMs.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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