Will Elon Musk Actually Create His Own Search Engine?

Would It Be True That Elon Musk Is Going To Create His Very Own Search Engine?

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Recently, Google’s image-generating artificial intelligence, Gemini, gained attention after it was claimed that some of its outputs, notably a group of ethnically varied Nazis, displayed gender and racial prejudice. Elon Musk, the owner of X (previously Twitter), is one of the AI’s most vocal opponents. On February 23, 2024, Musk stated in an X post that he discussed Gemini’s prejudice with a top Google official and was given the assurance that “they are taking immediate action to fix the racial and gender bias.” However, Musk says that’s only the beginning.

His criticism of Gemini wasn’t limited to that; a recent response to a follower’s tweet implies that Musk may target Gmail, another of Google’s main products. But after criticizing Google for having its problems, is Musk going to go all in and try to defeat the search engine behemoth at its own game, or will he stick to just two Google products?

Despite the question being raised by self-described “Truth Slayers” like Tara Bull, and despite Musk’s continued criticism of Google’s supposed bias, it doesn’t seem like he is moving to launch his search engine. Not yet, at least.

Musk challenges Google

Musk has previously poked fun at Google, pointing out problems with the News page on the website, but ever since the Gemini bias became apparent, the platform has come under fire from him. Ever since, he has taken an active position in identifying particular cases in which Google’s search results have displayed the same prejudice, such as when he asked the engine “Why censorship…” Musk went so far as to criticize Google personnel in addition to the platform, accusing Jack Krawczyk, the product lead, of being “a big part of why Google’s AI is so racist & sexist.”

Musk has urged for Google to fire employees in reaction to the “insanely racist and sexist” Gemini image generator in a barrage of postings on X. “Unless those who caused this are exited from Google, nothing will change, except to make the bias more pernicious and less obvious,” Musk allegedly said in an alleged follow-up discussion with the anonymous Google official, during which it was revealed the remedy for Gemini would take months.

Still, he hasn’t spoken anything about the possibility of creating his search engine, despite his obvious resentment at Gemini and his mounting worries about Google. Perhaps the experience of not succeeding with the AI search improvement for X helped to put the money, manpower, and time required to replicate Google’s search engine performance into perspective.

Musk’s conflict with ‘wokeness’

It’s not completely absurd to think that Musk would even entertain the idea of releasing a so-called “anti-woke” search engine. The software entrepreneur and billionaire has built a fortune on innovative concepts and ventures, striving to rectify what he considers to be prejudice on several platforms. However, since assuming control of X in April 2022, Musk has been a fountain of ideas for building an internet that reflects his beliefs.

One of his initial projects was TruthGPT, which he originally hinted at in February 2023 as a “truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe.” This is not to be confused with the TruthGPT chatbot, which asserts that Musk was an inspiration but doesn’t go into great detail on what the OpenAI substitute was intended to be. Elon’s TruthGPT is still out and has not been further developed as of February 2024.

X did, however, aggressively target ChatGPT with the introduction of Grok for premium users. It is claimed that the integrated AI uses real-time data to provide pertinent and reasonable responses. In December 2023, ZDNET writer Lance Whitney discovered that the bot skewed left on some themes, despite Musk’s efforts to steer clear of what he sees as woke ideals generating a bias. It’s almost astonishing that Musk isn’t aggressively pursuing a search engine, given his track record.

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