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Elon Musk says he’s boosting Tesla pay to stop OpenAI from poaching

Elon Musk says he’s boosting Tesla pay to stop OpenAI from poaching
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., at the AI Safety Summit 2023 at Bletchley Park in Bletchley, UK, on Wednesday, 1 November 2023.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car manufacturer has been boosting pay for artificial intelligence engineers as it faces a war over talent.

“Tesla is increasing comp (contingent on progress milestones) of our AI engineering team,” he posted on his X social media site, formerly Twitter. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has been “aggressively recruiting Tesla engineers with massive compensation offers and have unfortunately been successful in a few cases,” he said. 

Musk was responding to an Information report about Tesla AI scientist Ethan Knight leaving the car company to join Musk’s xAI startup. “Ethan was going to join OpenAI, so it was either xAI or them,” Musk said.

Ethan was going to join OpenAI, so it was either xAI or them.

They have been aggressively recruiting Tesla engineers with massive compensation offers and have unfortunately been successful in a few cases.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2024

Musk, the world’s third-richest person, helped start OpenAI before having a falling-out with the company. He’s now approaching AI from multiple angles — both within Tesla, where it’s being used to help develop self-driving features, and at his xAI startup.

Read More: xAI Potential Investors Focus on ‘Muskonomy,’ OpenAI Success

“There are over 200 excellent engineers in the Tesla AI/Autonomy team,” he said on X. “Tesla’s pace of progress with autonomy is accelerating. The talent war for AI is the craziest talent war I’ve ever seen!”

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