Elon Musk launches AI firm xAI

Also: AI is making politics easier, cheaper and more dangerous


Today's headlines are brimming with significant developments across the AI landscape. Elon Musk is back at the forefront with the launch of his new AI startup, xAI, assembling a team of engineers to create a "maximally curious" AI. Politics and AI intersect with the rise of AI-generated content influencing campaigns, but also giving rise to the threat of deepfakes. The potential economic impact of AI is highlighted by Goldman Sachs, predicting a 7% rise in global GDP. In regulatory news, China is tightening its grip on AI, demanding licenses for the launch of AI models. We'll also look into updates from Anthropic and Collective, two notable AI firms making advancements and securing significant funding.

Let’s get slicing:

  • 🦾 Elon Musk launches AI firm xAI

  • ⚠️ AI is making politics easier, cheaper and more dangerous

  • 📈 Generative AI Could Raise Global GDP by 7%

  • 🇨🇳 Chinese AI rules to be tighter than expected

Elon Musk has launched a new AI startup, xAI, in his latest bid to shape the development and regulation of AI. The company will consist of a team of engineers formerly from major U.S. tech firms and will strive to create a "maximally curious" AI, in a direct challenge to ChatGPT, an AI developed by OpenAI, a company Musk co-founded. He predicts the arrival of superintelligent AI within five or six years. The new startup, which will operate independently from X Corp, but work closely with other Musk ventures like Twitter and Tesla, is actively recruiting experienced engineers and researchers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The rapid advancement of AI in the political sphere is simultaneously driving efficiencies and creating threats, as AI-generated content becomes commonplace. This ranges from cost-saving methods, such as automating mundane tasks, drafting campaign materials, and assisting with speech writing, to the creation of realistic, manipulative "deepfakes" that can mislead voters with false narratives. While some firms and governments are trying to combat the misuse of AI through regulatory measures, watermarking, and content labeling, these efforts often fall behind the pace of technological advancements. Further complicating matters, AI is globally accessible and inexpensive, and can be leveraged by both political operatives and malicious actors to generate misinformation at an alarming rate. Amidst this landscape, there are concerns about voter confusion and the erosion of trust in the political process.

Goldman Sachs Research suggests that generative AI could elevate global GDP by 7%, or nearly $7 trillion, and boost productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points over the next decade. Advances in AI, particularly in natural language processing, are set to transform business operations and society, leading to automation of tasks equivalent to 300 million full-time jobs. Despite this, new job creation, driven by technological innovation, is expected to offset job displacement. AI could affect up to two-thirds of U.S. occupations, with a quarter to half of their workload being automated, but complete substitution is unlikely. Moreover, new AI systems may catalyze transformation in various sectors such as enterprise software, healthcare, and financial services. Generative AI tools are expected to enhance business efficiencies, promote faster drug development, and accelerate software code production. As these tools permeate existing software packages, industries across the economy stand to benefit. Goldman Sachs Research projects the total addressable market for generative AI software to reach $150 billion.

China is planning to tighten regulations on generative artificial intelligence (AI), stipulating that firms must secure a license before launching any AI models, an approach more rigorous than the draft regulations released in April. This shift was reported by the Financial Times and is expected to be enforced by the Cyberspace Administration of China, promoting AI innovation and application that aligns with the nation's core socialist values. Furthermore, service providers will be mandated to gather real identities and related user information. The tightening of these regulations follows a meeting with tech firms such as Xiaomi, iFlytek, and Alibaba Cloud, where the focus was on bolstering private scientific and technological enterprises.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Anthropic, an AI startup co-founded by former OpenAI executives, has released its second-generation AI chatbot, Claude 2, which shows improvements in areas such as legal, medical, and programming tests compared to its predecessor. Its abilities include summarizing, writing, coding, and answering questions about specific topics. Claude 2 was trained on more recent data from early 2023, and though it can't search the web like GPT-4, it boasts the same context window as Claude 1.3 (100,000 tokens). The AI model, which comes with built-in safety features, is less prone to providing harmful responses, though Anthropic advises against its use in high-stakes situations. It features a technology called "constitutional AI" that guides the model's judgment on the text it generates, improving understandability and adjustability. Despite its progress, Anthropic recognizes the increasing challenge of predicting the model's behavior in all scenarios as it becomes more sophisticated.

💵 Venture Capital updates

Collective, an all-in-one online back-office platform catering to solo entrepreneurs, has raised $50M in funding from a consortium of investors such as Gradient Ventures, Innovius Capital, and others. The raised capital will be used to integrate AI across its operations and onboard close to 100,000 businesses from its waitlist. Collective provides services such as business formation, payroll, tax, and bookkeeping for solo entrepreneurs, reportedly saving members an average of $10,000 annually. To keep pace with the burgeoning demand, powered by the rise in freelancing, the platform leverages large language models to build AI co-pilots, reducing the time spent on bank reconciliations and expense categorizations significantly. The fresh funds will help Collective further develop AI tools, scale operations, and grow at a rate faster than anticipated. The platform has raised a total of $82 million since its inception in 2020 and has increased its revenue almost tenfold since its Series A round in 2021.

🫡 Meme of the day

⭐️ Generative AI image of the day

Before you go, check out how to improve key performance indicators with AI 🎯