Elon Musk says he’s working on “TruthGPT,” a ChatGPT alternative that acts as a “maximum truth-seeking AI.” The billionaire laid out his vision for an AI rival during an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, saying an alternative approach to AI creation was needed to avoid the destruction of humanity.
“I’m going to start something which I call TruthGPT or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk said. “And I think this might be the best path to safety in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”
Musk compared an AI’s supposed lack of desire to destroy all of humanity to the way humans strive to protect chimpanzees, which is pretty ironic given Neuralink’s treatment of them. “We recognize humanity could decide to hunt down all the chimpanzees and kill them,” Musk said. “We’re actually glad that they exist, and we aspire to protect their habitats.”
Musk framed TruthGPT as a course correction to OpenAI, the AI software nonprofit he helped found, which has since begun operating a for-profit subsidiary. Musk implied that OpenAI’s profit incentives could potentially interfere with the ethics of the AI models that it creates and positioned “TruthGPT” as a more transparent option.
This isn’t the first time that Musk has mused about creating a “TruthGPT.” He tweeted in February that “what we need is TruthGPT,” while also calling attention to the risks of large-scale AI models, like those made by Open AI. Musk, along with several other AI researchers signed an open letter in March that urges companies to pause “giant AI experiments” that their creators can’t “understand, predict, or reliably control.”
It’s not clear how far along Musk’s “TruthGPT” actually is — if it exists at all at this point — but it seems he’s actually serious about it since he actually brought up the model during his interview with Carlson. Musk also quietly established a new AI company, called X.AI, in March.