The AI.com domain which redirects users to chatGPT has taken a surprising turn. The domain now leads to X.ai, an AI company owned by Elon musk. The sudden redirection has left users wondering about the spur behind the redirection and has prompted questions about its ownership. In February 2021, the AI.com domain started redirecting to chatGPT which made the tech world buzzing with news, speculations were teeming about the redirection. However, the recent development has taken an unforeseen twist.
Elon Musk left OpenAI’s board in 2018 a year before it became a “capped-profit” company. In February, Musk slammed OpenAI for becoming a “maximum profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft,” which was not what he “intended at all.” As Rohan Goswami reported in CNBC Musk stopped backing OpenAI, reportedly after a disagreement with senior executives over the speed and nature of technological advancement. The Tesla CEO made the comments in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber, and suggested that OpenAI wasn’t doing enough to ensure safe AI development.
OpenAI began as a non-profit, open-source company, making its source code publicly available for possible contributions. In the early years, Elon Musk made a significant investment in OpenAI. However, after a few years a disagreement led Musk to sever ties and leave OpenAI.
Years later, OpenAI received major funding from Microsoft and pivoted to become a closed-source company upon launching its flagship product ChatGPT. Initially, Musk seemed supportive of ChatGPT’s public release. But he later became critical, arguing he felt misled given his early investment under OpenAI’s non-profit, open-source model.
Months after ChatGPT’s launch, a petition emerged urging AI regulation, featuring signatures from prominent AI experts like Eliezer Yudkowsky, Denis Hsassabis and Elon musk himself. The petition reflected growing concerns about ensuring responsible development of increasingly powerful AI systems. While once an OpenAI backer, Musk’s criticisms highlighted the complex evolution of perspectives around artificial intelligence as the field advances.
When AI.com began redirecting to ChatGPT, speculation arose that OpenAI had acquired the valuable domain. However, OpenAI executives never confirmed purchasing AI.com. In hindsight, it seems unlikely OpenAI would buy the domain then sell it to Elon Musk’s X.ai so soon after.
More plausibly, either OpenAI was temporarily leasing AI.com to direct traffic to ChatGPT, or the domain registrar simply changed the redirection target from ChatGPT to X.ai unexpectedly. Since OpenAI never claimed ownership of AI.com, it was likely a temporary redirect that switched affiliation from ChatGPT to X.ai due to the registrar’s preferences, not because of an OpenAI domain sale. The full circumstances around AI.com’s redirection remain unclear.
According to Mark Zahn, Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk launched an artificial intelligence company called xAI on Wednesday, vowing to develop a generative AI program that competes with established offerings like ChatGPT. The company employs some engineers who formerly worked for major companies in the field like Google and OpenAI, the xAI website said. Musk, who has previously criticized the pace and ambitions of recent developments in AI, said in a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday that he entered the industry reluctantly. “If I could press pause on advanced AI digital super-intelligence, I would. But it doesn’t seem like that is realistic,” Musk said, adding that he expects xAI to be safer than its competitors because it will be “maximally curious, maximally truth-seeking. XAI, according to its website, aims to “understand the true nature of the universe.”
The new company’s ambitious plans have raised questions among some AI experts, who worry that Musk’s involvement could encourage research oversights that could lead to serious consequences. X.ai‘s website states that it aims to combine “the power of AI with the insights of humanity” to create a tool to help businesses better manage their operations. Meanwhile, the AI.com website, while currently redirecting to X.ai, does not contain any information related to Musk’s new venture or open source projects.
With AI’s potential implications in mind, it will be interesting to see what other changes the industry brings in the near future and how AI.com‘s redirection to X.ai plays out. Elon Musk’s decision to enter the field signals a possible shift in the industry and, if successful, could lead to a more democratic model of AI development and utilization. Whether or not this potential shift will result in more responsible use of AI remains to be seen.