• Elon Musk’s new AI venture, xAI, launched its first AI chatbot technology named Grok.
  • The prototype is in its first two months of training and is only available to a select group of users before a wider release.
  • Musk is positioning xAI to compete with OpenAI, Inflection, Anthropic and other LLMs.

Elon Musk‘s artificial intelligence company, xAI, has recently unveiled its inaugural AI model, Grok, to a limited audience. Musk provided a preview of a chatbot utilizing xAI’s latest Grok model, indicating its resemblance to substantial language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In a post on X, Musk mentioned that Grok has instant access to information via his social media platform, X (formerly Twitter). He implies that this advantage sets xAI’s model apart from other language models.

Grok is an AI modelled after the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, intended to answer almost anything. It can also suggest what questions to ask! Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and sass, and it also has a rebellious streak. You’ve got to be okay with its humour to be able to use it. A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the 𝕏 platform. It will also answer spicy questions that most other AI systems reject.

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Its Background

Grok is a term coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his 1961 science fiction novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” In the book, ‘grok’ is a Martian term with no direct Earthling translation. Critics have debated the word’s exact definition but have settled on some version of having very deep empathy or intuition with something. Merriam-Webster defines it simply as a transitive verb that means “to understand profoundly and intuitively.

xAI launched in July with a team stacked with former employees of OpenAI, DeepMind and more. It is still hiring for several roles. The company’s self-stated mandate is to build artificial intelligence “to advance our collective understanding of the universe.” Musk has previously said that he believes today’s AI makers are bending too far toward “politically correct” systems. xAI’s mission, it said, is to create AI for people of all backgrounds and political views. Grok is said to be a means of testing that AI approach “in public.”

grok elon musk

The Progress So Far

Grok is still a very early beta product, it’s the best they could do with 2 months of training – so expect it to improve rapidly with each passing week with the users’ help. Musk shared amusing characteristics of his AI-driven chatbot. He posted an image where a user requested a step-by-step guide on making cocaine. Although the chatbot provided the requested instructions, it also added a sarcastic warning to the user. “Just kidding! Please don’t actually try to make coke. It’s illegal, dangerous and not something I would ever encourage,” wrote Musk in his tweet.

Musk admires the wit exhibited by the new AI platform. He expressed that Gork is sharp and enjoys sarcasm. Elon further added that he is clueless about who might have influenced it in this direction. In addition to his admiration for the AI platform’s sarcastic personality, Musk holds a favourable view of Gork, affirming that their latest model is one of the top options currently available. He shared on X, “In certain crucial aspects, it is currently one of the best.”

Grok also has access to data from X, which xAI said will give it a leg-up. On an initial round of tests based on middle school math problems and Python coding tasks, the company said that “Grok surpassed all other models in its compute class, including ChatGPT-3.5 and Inflection-1.” Bots with larger data troves outperformed it. Musk posted a side-by-side comparison of Grok answering a question versus another AI bot, which he said had less current information. The Tesla and Space X CEO appears to be positioning xAI as a challenger to companies like OpenAI, Inflection and Anthropic.

Gork’s availability is restricted to a select group of individuals, as of now. A user requested access from Musk, saying, “How refreshing. Please grant me access to this, Elon.” Musk responded with, “Ask, and you shall receive.” This suggests that there is a possibility for X users to gain access to Gork if Musk grants authorization.

The prototype is in its early beta phase, only two months in training and is available to a select number of users to test out before the company releases it more widely. Users can sign up for a waitlist for a chance to use the bot. It is reported that Musk intends to make xAI’s language model available to all X Premium+ subscribers. X has introduced two subscription options, giving users the choice between a $16 per month Premium+ tier for an ad-free experience and a basic $3 per month tier. Additionally, there is the X Premium tier, which is priced at $8 per month.