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Elon Musk Launches xAI’s New Chatbot Grok

Elon Musk Launches xAI’s New Chatbot Grok

Ivana Shteriova
Elon Musk’s startup, xAI, released its first AI chatbot. Grok will be available exclusively for X Premium+ subscribers once it exits beta. A group of US X users is already testing the new AI tool.

It took xAI four months to develop Grok. The chatbot has “real-time access” to data from Musk-owned microblogging platform X.com (formerly Twitter), which gives it a “massive advantage” over competitor chatbots that trained on static datasets.

According to xAI, Grok-1 is better than GPT-3.5, the technology powering the free ChatGPT version, in tasks like solving middle school math problems. But the early Grok version can’t still compete with ChatGPT’s most advanced model. Grok’s real-time access to X might also make the chatbot more biased and problematic, given that disinformation and hate speech are on the rise.

In sync with Musk’s outspoken personality, the chatbot has “a bit of wit” and “a rebellious streak” so those who “hate humor” should refrain from using it. Inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a cult sci-fi comedy, the AI bot will not only answer questions but also suggest questions to ask.

A day after Grok’s launch, Musk revealed his intention to merge xAI with X as a result of his ambition to transform X into an “everything app.” xAI will be “built into the X app” but also will be “available as a standalone app,” he said in a post without giving further details.

Musk officially launched xAI in July with the purpose “to understand the true nature of the universe.” The meaning behind Grok’s name aligns with what xAI is trying to accomplish. Grok is a verb coined by the science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein that means to “understand thoroughly and intuitively.”

Interestingly, the launch of Musk’s first AI chatbot comes months after the tech billionaire signed a petition calling for a 6-month pause on AI development in favor of establishing reliable safety protocols. “I signed on to that letter knowing it was futile,” Musk posted on X. “I just wanted to be on record as recommending a pause.”

Just recently, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on AI safeguards, setting the foundation for more responsible, safe, and ethical AI development and initiating an era of stricter AI regulation in the US.

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