Elon Musk has found his next mission, and it doesn’t involve space. The Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO is getting ready to reveal Part 3 of his Master Plan tomorrow, but he recently outlined plans for something even more ambitious. According to sources, he plans on launching his own version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the chatbot that has been sweeping the globe since its November launch. But what would this mean for TSLA stock, which has only recently started recovering the ground it lost in 2022?
The Information reports that Musk has spoken with multiple people about developing a company that can rival OpenAI. It certainly makes sense that Musk, who helped found the organization behind the chatbot, would want to create his own version of the revolutionary product.
Let’s take a closer look at what Musk’s new project might mean for his first company and what investors should be watching for.
What a Musk Chatbot Could Mean for TSLA Stock
The last time Musk set his sights on a new idea, it didn’t go well for his primary company. Between Oct. 27, 2022, when he finalized his Twitter takeover, and the start of 2023, TSLA stock shed more than 51% of its value, exactly as experts predicted that it would.
Now, shares are falling again. It may be at least partially because a similar scenario is looming. When Musk turned his back on the company that made him famous, Tesla investors paid the price. TSLA stock has rebounded in 2023, but if another Twitter scenario plays out, it could easily fall back down again.
Musk has been critical of ChatGPT since it rose to prominence, accusing it of both liberal bias and spreading false information. This is in line with Musk’s pro-“free-speech” mentality that compelled him to purchase Twitter. In February 2022, he tweeted the following:
What we need is TruthGPT
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
Two weeks later, Musk may be gearing up to start building exactly that, though no name for the project has been released. What is known is that Musk is actively recruiting industry veterans to head up his version of ChatGPT. As Business Insider reports:
“The Tesla CEO has been enlisting former DeepMind senior researcher Igor Babuschkin to head up the project, per the publication. It added that Babuschkin specialized in the kind of machine learning needed to develop chatbots. He has previously worked at OpenAI, according to his LinkedIn profile.”
Babuschkin hasn’t officially signed on to work on the project, but Musk has made it clear that he is serious about developing his own chatbot. However, his own record with integrating AI into his own company isn’t exactly spotless.
Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) technology has generated considerable controversy, mostly due to safety concerns. In 2022, the Washington Post reported that Tesla vehicles running on autopilot had been involved in 273 crashes in one year. More recently, the company recalled 362,758 EVs due to concerns regarding the FSD software.
The Road Ahead
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Elon Musk and AI have a complicated relationship. That isn’t to suggest that he can’t create a successful chatbot. If he does, it could absolutely rival ChatGPT in terms of scale. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be good for TSLA stock. Musk acquiring Twitter pushed shares down for months. Tesla investors may not be excited about their CEO finding another distraction.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.