Elon Musk's AI startup

Elon Musk’s AI startup attracts some Tesla engineers

Elon Musk’s AI startup has been hiring Tesla engineers since its launch last summer. Some Tesla engineers have joined xAI, including machine-learning scientist Ethan Knight, who was previously employed by Tesla.

Recruitment Challenges and Responses

Musk claimed that OpenAI, a different AI startup, was actively seeking out Tesla engineers, creating a competitive market for hiring talent. In response, Musk said he had been increasing the salary of Tesla’s AI engineering team to fend off the allure of competing offers.

AI Strategy Control

Musk stated that he wanted more influence over Tesla’s AI strategy and emphasized the value of having a sizable voting bloc inside the business. Citing the need for influence over important decisions, he expressed discomfort with Tesla’s AI and robotics capabilities being expanded without holding at least 25% of the voting power.

Musk’s Concerns and Ultimatum

In a public statement, Musk shared his concerns about his lack of control over Tesla’s AI strategy. Perhaps he would consider developing products outside of Tesla if he didn’t have enough voting power. Some investors expressed concern after reading Musk’s remarks as an ultimatum, with some characterizing Musk’s actions as almost blackmail-like.

Investor Response and Market Reaction

Investors and analysts had mixed reactions to Musk’s remarks. Some were worried about the possible ramifications of his comments, but others saw them as a leadership stance or a negotiating strategy. But it was clear from Musk’s remarks that they created uncertainty, which moved Tesla’s stock price and sparked conversations among investors.


To sum up, the transition of some Tesla engineers to Elon Musk’s AI startup, xAI, highlights the intense competition for AI expertise. Musk’s insistence on having more control over Tesla’s AI strategy is indicative of his visionary approach. As a supporter of Tesla, I believe that in this competitive market, the company needs to retain smart people. The evolving landscape will impact not only the broader AI industry but also Tesla’s prospects.

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