Is Elon Musk Really Using Quantum AI to "Eradicate Poverty"? Turns Out, Scammers Are Behind the Rumor

Deleted Facebook videos show Elon Musk promoting his quantum AI venture to end poverty — but none of it's real.


Feb. 27 2024, Published 11:27 a.m. ET

Elon Musk sits in front of a black background, holding his hands together, at the Viva Technology conference at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre on June 16, 2023 in Paris, France.
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Elon Musk attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre on June 16, 2023 in Paris, France.

Businessman Elon Musk would like to be best known for running Tesla, turning Twitter into X, and pushing humanity closer to Mars. But lately, he tends to be in the headlines more for his controversies, like Neuralink's cranial chips, labor violations, offensive tweets, and interviews that shake the internet.

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However, it turns out that not all of his controversial interviews are real. A since-deleted Facebook video, posted in August 2023, showed Elon Musk telling Tucker Carlson that he would launch a quantum AI program to end poverty — but it was a scam.

Read on to learn more about the video, quantum artificial intelligence, and if Musk is actually involved in it.

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Did Elon Musk invest in quantum AI? This rumor stemmed from deepfake videos created by scammers.

Musk did not invest in quantum AI, even though deleted Facebook videos — deepfakes made using AI, ironically — convinced many viewers otherwise.

As reported by Reuters, an August 2023 video was fabricated to look like it was taken from Fox News’ former show Tucker Carlson Tonight. In the clip, Musk told Carlson about his new quantum AI software that would, as Carlson put it in the fake video, "eradicate poverty."

A Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the clip was fake, and that no such interview occurred.

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Per RMIT University, another AI-created video, also published in August 2023, showed Musk talking about his quantum AI project to a 9 News Australia reporter. The giveaway that this video was fake? The Australian presenter's voice had been replaced with an American accent.

And in November 2023, a video in which Musk allegedly promoted his quantum AI venture in a conversation with a Dubai billionaire was also verified as fake by Politifact.

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So what was the point of this series of scams? According to RMIT University, the videos allegedly aimed to con viewers into investing their money to help Musk create quantum AI.

However, any donations made by viewers certainly did not go to Musk. It's unclear who is behind the scam, or if the scammers made any money from this con.

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What is quantum AI?

Quantum AI is a computation process where quantum computers compile data with machine learning algorithms, as noted by AIMultiple Research. It starts with quantum computers, which use quantum mechanics to solve complex data processing faster than computers running on traditional hardware can, per IBM.

The instantaneous and wide-reaching data collection and analysis capabilities could make companies more financially successful. notes that large banking companies such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo already use quantum AI to recognize data patterns in the economy.

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AI quantum computing could put businesses ahead of their competitors by giving them more accurate data readings faster so their clients or employees make more money with less risky financial decisions. Google supports these developments with its open-source library available to the public, per a Google Research blog post.

A 3D render CPU central processor unit chipset is pictured on the printed circuit board for electronic and technology concept select focus shallow depth of field
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While Elon Musk is not actually involved with quantum AI, he is operating a startup called xAI.

Rumors abound that Musk invested in something called Project Omega, a mysterious AI business venture. However, no credible sources reveal proof of Project Omega’s existence.

Instead, Musk announced in July 2023 that he would launch xAI, which will use AI to make scientific discoveries, even while he remained publicly skeptical of AI’s potential as a force of good in the world. The company would cost $6 billion to start, per Fortune.

Only time will tell if any AI developments under Musk's watch succeed.

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