The co-founder of DeepMind has launched an AI chatbot named Pi.

Pi has been created by Inflection AI, the studio co-founded by CEO Mustafa Suleyman alongside Karén Simonyan and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. It employs talent formerly working at DeepMind, Google, Meta, Microsoft and ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

The company says that, unlike ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, it is not working towards artificial general intelligence and that ‘advanced applied AI is the safest way to harness the benefits of these new technologies’.

“We think of Pi as a digital companion on hand whenever you want to learn something new, when you need a sounding board to talk through a tricky moment in your day, or just pass the time with a curious and kind counterpart,” said Suleyman.

Dr Geoffrey Hinton, a scientist dubbed the ‘Godfather of AI’ thanks to his early work in neural networks, quit Google recently to speak freely about the dangers of AI following the rise of ChatGPT, Microsoft’s decision to add OpenAI’s technology to its Bing search engine and subsequent release of Google’s chatbot Bard.

Dr Hinton and dozens of people working in AI – including his fellow 2018 Turing Award winners Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun – signed an open letter in March calling for a pause on AI development to allow for the design and implementation of safety measures.

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“To help it understand the world, Pi has been shown billions of lines of text available on the open web, which it processes using one of the largest supercomputers in the world,” Inflection AI’s website says.

“This allows it to have conversations with you and answer a huge range of questions – from general knowledge to personal relationships; from silly to serious.”

It is available to download from Apple’s App Store and free to use across Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. 

Suleyman told the Financial Times that Pi does not do coding, write marketing strategies or school essays. The company says it “doesn’t yet know about events that took place after November 2022 – although that will soon change”.

Among its listed abilities are the explanation of complicated ideas; suggesting better phrases; ideas for ‘creative party themes or gifts’; and to help people organise their thoughts, make plans and act on them.

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