Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk became the latest player to press into the increasingly crowded AI space with the formation of start-up xAI, a move revealed hours before Google announced a major expansion of its Bard chatbot.

Musk unveiled the formation of xAI on Twitter yesterday with little detail on what the company will focus on.

The only clue given was to state it would seek to “understand reality”.

Other members of the start-up’s team include experts formerly involved with DeepMind, OpenAI and Google Research, with director of the Centre for AI Safety Dan Hendrycks advising the new company.

Previously Musk added his name to a group of high-profile figures voicing concern of the pace of development in the AI sector.

The launch of xAI is not the Twitter-owner’s first foray into the hyped technology, with Musk one of the co-founders of ChatGPT parent OpenAI, though Financial Times noted his involvement ended in 2018 following alleged clashes with management on their approach to safety.

Increasingly lyrical Bard
Musk’s announcement came hours before Google revealed an expansion of its generative AI chatbot Bard, the latest move from a major player in the increasingly hot sector.

As of today (13 July), Bard will be able to converse in 40 languages and can be accessed across Europe and various other countries including Brazil, the company noted.

In a statement, Google indicated the bot is able to provide responses to queries in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and German among other languages.

Alongside expanding availability, the tech giant added various other updates to the system. These include the ability to have Bard’s responses read out and controls to change the tone and style of replies for users of its English language version.