The purchase of AI.com by X.ai replaces it to the ChatGPT web interface which caused a stir in February. However, former backer, Twitter user, and X fan Elon Musk appears to have grabbed the lucrative site off their hands, or someone has done it for him: AI.com now leads to X.ai, his embryonic machine learning research business.
Daily, domains are bought and sold. Two-letter.com domains, especially those that form words or abbreviations, are scarce and expensive. When AI.com started redirecting to OpenAI’s site, Mashable noted that the domain could have sold for more than IT.com’s $3.8 million the year before, considering the buzz around AI.
OpenAI likely planned to convert confused URL bar typers into lifetime users by buying AI.com. It may have planned to relocate consumer-facing functions like ChatGPT’s web client to the shorter domain. The domain now belongs to X.ai, so we may never know.
Analytics India Magazine (perhaps a bidder) published the announcement, but outside the move, little is known about the switch. It’s odd and pricey enough to mention.
X.ai is mostly a concept, with a few academics and engineers doing whatever Musk instructs them. Its claimed goal is “to understand the true nature of the universe,” but they haven’t made any observable progress since July. Musk was busy then.
What may that mean? Did Sam Altman’s toy wear out? Did a new domain replace the plan to switch? Was the sale tentative or a month-to-month lease? Was there a bidding battle or interest loss?
Whatever the case, it feels like two rich guys fighting over a nice object. Why invest millions to launch a new AI brand when ChatGPT is the most famous? Why pay so much to reroute another empty site when X.ai is already short and memorable (or will be until there are eight other Musk startups called X) and has nothing worth looking at? OpenAI never confirmed it owned the name, and Musk never responded to our emails.
What would I do with $10 million to buy AI.com? Direct it to the obvious candidate and offer it to their competitors at 50% off. If that failed, I’d switch to the rival and offer it to the first company. Hope an information superhighwayman had the same idea and made a lot of money off one of these billionaires. If so, well job.
X.ai replaces ChatGPT on AI.com and most individuals don’t care who owns AI.com, and they may be distrustful of the corporate company that possesses the vanity domain. Just agree not to use it. That will educate everyone