Elon Musk’s friends will help raise $3 billion for xAI.

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Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup could get a big boost as xAI races to catch up with rivals like OpenAI and Anthropic in the highly competitive space.

Investors close to the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX are in talks to help XAI raise $3 billion in a funding round that could be valued at $18 billion, the sources said. The Wall Street Journalwhich said Steve Jobs and venture capital firm GigaFund are among potential backers.

Jurvetson is a friend of Musk’s who serves on the board of SpaceX and previously sat on the board of Tesla. Meanwhile, GigaFund co-founder Luke Nosek is also on SpaceX’s board and part of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” alongside Musk. Journal.

Representatives for xAI did not immediately respond. good fortuneA request for comment on Saturday was not responded to. JournalLate Friday application.

Musk launched xAI last year as a competitor to ChatGPT parent OpenAI, which he co-founded but later sued after claiming it was abandoning its original nonprofit mission. In November, xAI launched its own chatbot called Grok and released an updated version last month.

News of a potential $3 billion fundraising round is the latest sign that xAI is looking for more capital, while rival OpenAI has a $13 billion commitment from Microsoft and Anthropic has raised $6 billion, including from Google and Amazon.

In January, Financial Times reported that Musk wanted to raise up to $6 billion for xAI, though that later Refused That he was fundraising. And in December, a regulatory filing showed that xAI was seeking to raise $1 billion from investors and had already secured about $135 million.

At the same time as the race for investor backing in artificial intelligence is heating up, xAI and its competitors are also competing for AI talent. After news broke Wednesday that Tesla’s Ethan Knight became the automaker’s fourth engineer to join xAI, Musk tweeted that Knight planned to defect from OpenAI.

“It was either xAI or that,” Musk wrotenoting that he was also increase Salary of AI Engineers “[OpenAI has] Tesla is aggressively recruiting engineers with massive compensation offers. [has] Unfortunately, few have been successful.”

He later added that “The talent war for AI is the craziest talent war I’ve ever seen!”

Tech companies are fighting for a limited pool of workers with high-level AI experience. In fact, there may be only a couple of hundred people in the world who have a high level of competence in training large language models and debugging new AI platforms, said Naveen Rao, head of generative AI at Databricks. The Wall Street Journal last month.

The cost of attracting and retaining such in-demand skills is high. Data from career services platform Levels.fyi shows the average salary at OpenAI is $925,000, including bonuses and company equity.

Such skyrocketing comes as a March report from McKinsey found that nearly 51 percent of general AI creators and heavy users say they plan to leave their jobs within the next three to six months. are making plans, while 34 percent of workers overall say they plan to take time off. Within the same period

At Facebook parent Meta, at least three high-level AI employees have left in the past few weeks. This includes computer scientist and senior director of engineering Eric Major, who said good fortune In an exclusive interview, he said he had turned down “fantastic offers” from several “most sought-after” AI companies.

To prevent such brainpower from jumping ship, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly wooed top AI engineers and researchers with personal appeals.

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