Elon Musk is dismissing reports that his AI company has raised $500 million.
“This is simply not accurate,” Musk wrote on his social media platform X Friday (Jan. 19), following a Bloomberg News story saying that his artificial intelligence (AI) startup was halfway to its goal of $1 billion in funding.
Musk also deemed the report, which said xAI was discussing a valuation of $15 billion to $20 billion, “fake news.”
The billionaire Tesla CEO announced the launch of xAI in June, saying it would bring together a collection of AI industry veterans and endeavor to “understand reality.”
The company debuted its AI chatbot Grok in November, saying the tool has capabilities that rival Meta’s LLaMA 2 AI model and can handle math problems and reasoning at a level approaching that of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.
The Bloomberg report said Musk and investors are expected to finalize terms in the next couple weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.
One source said some of the parties want to see whether they can get computing power in addition to, or in some cases instead of, equity shares in xAI. This would help venture capital firms’ portfolio companies, which need intensive data processing capabilities to build AI products of their own.
News of xAI’s $1 billion funding goal emerged last month in a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As PYMNTS wrote at the time, Musk has “been a vocal critic of OpenAI,” the highest-profile AI startup and developer of ChatGPT. Musk had been involved with that company at the beginning, but has been critical of its establishment of a for-profit arm and Microsoft’s ties to the company.
Musk was one of the first signatories to an open letter published by AI watchdog group Future of Life Institute last year warning of the potential dangers of AI.
“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be managed,” the letter said, while also calling for “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least six months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”