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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Twitter working on AI despite Musk call for global pause

Musk has bought thousands of powerful, costly computing processors and hired AI engineering talent, Insider reported, while another tech-focused outlet, the Information, said the entrepreneur has floated the idea of starting a rival to ChatGPT.

Elon Musk is advancing an artificial intelligence project at Twitter despite recently calling for an overall pause in developing such technology, US media reports said Tuesday.

Musk has bought thousands of powerful, costly computing processors and hired AI engineering talent, Insider reported, while another tech-focused outlet, the Information, said the entrepreneur has floated the idea of starting a rival to ChatGPT.

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Meanwhile, Musk has slashed staff at Twitter as part of dramatic cost cutting since his $44 billion takeover of the San Francisco firm late last year.

The Insider report came less than two weeks after Musk joined experts in signing a letter calling for a hiatus in the development of AI.

The open letter, published on the website of the Musk-funded Future of Life Institute, urged a six-month pause in development of powerful AI systems.

The billionaire Tesla boss and other luminaries wrote that “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity.”

The signatories, who included academics and tech titans like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, argued that the pause should be used to bolster regulation and ensure the systems were safe.

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Critics however called the letter a “hot mess” of “AI hype” that even misrepresented an academic paper.

Musk’s fledgling AI project at Twitter was said in the Insider report to involve training a language model to create written content.

Generative AI could also be put to work as a search or advertising tool, but it remained unclear what Musk intended its purpose to be at Twitter, the report said.

Twitter replied to a request for comment with a poop emoji, which has become its practice under Musk.

Big tech companies like Google, Meta and Microsoft have spent years working on AI systems — previously known as machine learning or big data — to help with translations, search and targeted advertising.

But late last year San Francisco firm OpenAI supercharged the interest in AI when it launched ChatGPT, a bot that can generate screeds of natural language text from a short prompt.

Musk co-founded OpenAI but left the company in 2018.

Microsoft has since announced it is investing billions of dollars in OpenAI and put its technology to work in its Bing internet search service.