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Musk’s xAI Aims to Launch Supercomputer by 2025

Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence (AI) startup xAI is hoping to build its own supercomputer.

The tech billionaire aims to launch the project — which would run the next iteration of xAI’s chatbot Grok — as early as next year, The Information reported Saturday (May 26), citing an investor presentation.

Musk has said in public that xAI will need up to 100,000 specialized semiconductors to train and run the next version of Grok, and will require a “gigafactory of compute” to house those chips.

According to The Information, the device will connect Nvidia’s flagship H100 graphics processing units (GPUs), and will be at least four times the size of the biggest GPU clusters that now exist once in operation today. The report also says xAI could team with Oracle on the supercomputer project.

The news came days after reports that xAI had secured new backing that puts it close to a $6 billion funding round and would value the company at $18 billion.

Musk has told investors that xAI can compete with the likes of OpenAI, Anthropic and Google by tapping into data, technology and business of other companies he leads, which include Twitter/X, Tesla and Starlink.

xAI debuted Grok in November of last year. It is a ChatGPT-like AI assistant which boasts an impressive 314 billion parameters. (To place this into perspective, OpenAI’s GPT-3 model had 175 billion parameters.)

In March, xAI announced it was open-sourcing Grok, a move that some say could democratize AI technology and lead to innovation in commercial applications.

“Open source models could lead to more competition and, potentially, lower costs for businesses looking to leverage AI in their operations,” Richard Gardner, the CEO of the tech consultancy Modulus, told PYMNTS in an interview. “As the underlying models become more accessible, competition might shift towards the quality of data used to train them and the expertise in applying those models to solve specific business problems.”

He added that open source AI allows for quicker innovation and more transparency than proprietary models developed by big tech firms. 

“Open source supports free speech and reduces the potential for censorship by big tech,” Gardner said, noting that it also makes AI more accessible to smaller companies and startups that might not have the resources to build their models from scratch.

Other big tech rollouts promised by Musk for the months ahead include his plans to turn X into a payments superapp by the end of this year, and Tesla’s robotaxi, which he said in April would be unveiled in August.

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