Billionaire Elon Musk’s AI startup xAI launched an early beta version of Grok, a chatbot, on Nov. 5. Grok is witty and has a “rebellious streak” with xAI warning people against using the chatbot “if you hate humor!”
xAI built Grok to be a research assistant and modeled it after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the humorous sci-fi book by Douglas Adams that graduated into a series and film. Therefore, Grok will not only answer “almost anything,” but also suggest what questions to ask, according to xAI.
In 2017, Musk said AI is a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” It is interesting that Musk, despite his proclaimed fears about the potential threats of AI, has launched a chatbot that will “answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.”
The startup did note, however, that it will “work towards developing reliable safeguards” to prevent “catastrophic forms of malicious use.”
Grok also claims to have an advantage over other chatbots—real-time knowledge of the world through the X platform, which is controlled by Musk.
xAI said it aims to gather feedback to ensure they are “building AI tools that maximally benefit all of humanity.”
Grok-1, the engine behind Grok, surpassed ChatGPT 3.5, the earlier version of OpenAI’s chatbot, when tested on math, coding, and several other academic parameters, according to xAI data. The website noted:
“It is only surpassed by models that were trained with a significantly larger amount of training data and compute resources like GPT-4.”
Grok has been trained for two months and is still a “very early beta product,” xAI said. Therefore, it “can still generate false or contradictory information,” the startup said.
The Grok prototype is currently only available to a limited number of users in the U.S. but will be accessible for $16 on X Premium Plus.