According to anonymous sources close to the company, Musk purchased nearly 10,000 graphics processing units intending to further his AI projects at Twitter.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and, as of October 2022, Twitter, recently made headlines when he spearheaded a letter to halt artificial intelligence (AI) development due to societal concerns. Despite the effort, the tech mogul seems to be pushing forward with his own plans for developing AI infrastructure.
A report from Business Insider revealed that Musk appears to be moving forward with plans for an AI project at Twitter. According to two anonymous sources familiar with the company, the Twitter CEO recently purchased nearly 10,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) to be used on the platform.
Typically, GPUs work on large-scale AI models due to the massive computation power required by the technology. This follows a tweet from Musk on March 18, in which he said that the company would use AI to “detect & highlight manipulation of public opinion” on Twitter.
In the months ahead, we will use AI to detect & highlight manipulation of public opinion on this platform.
Let’s see what the psy ops cat drags in …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
The anonymous sources reportedly deemed the project to be in its early stages, but the purchase of such a quantity of GPUs shows Musk is “committed” to it. One of the sources said the project works with a large language model. However, the sources also said the definite role of generative AI at Twitter is unclear.
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Additionally, Twitter recently acquired new talent with an extensive background in the AI field. In March, engineers Igor Babuschkin and Manuel Kroiss joined Musk’s team after working with DeepMind, an AI research subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
These developments come only a few weeks after Musk signed an open letter, along with thousands of other researchers in the tech space, to temporarily halt the development of AI due to the risk to humanity.
Musk is also on record in 2017 giving a warning to regulators at an event with the United States National Governors Association that AI research needs to be regulated “before it’s too late.“