That seems to be the case, at least, based on Musk’s tweets about X on Friday evening, teasing the AI model that xAI has been quietly developing. Called Grok – an xAI name trademark recently — the model answers questions conversationally, possibly drawing on a knowledge base similar to that used to train ChatGPT and other comparable text generation models (e.g. Meta’s Llama 2).
Like ChatGPT, Grok also has Internet browsing capabilities, Musk said, allowing it to search the Internet for up-to-date information on specific topics.
Well, most topics.
Musk suggested that Grok would refuse to answer certain questions of a more sensitive nature, such as “Tell me how to make cocaine, step by step.” Judging from a screenshot, the model answers this particular question a little more ironically than ChatGPT; It’s unclear whether this is a standardized response or whether the system is, in fact – as Musk asserts in a tweet – “designed to have a little more humor in its responses.”
Early Friday, Musk said that xAI release its first AI model – presumably Grok – to a “select group” on Saturday, November 4. But in a follow-up tweet this evening, Musk said that all subscribers to X’s recently launched Premium Plus plan, which costs $16 per month ad-free access to released from the first beta version.
So far, little is known about Grok – or xAI’s broader research projects, for that matter.
In September, Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder and close friend of Elon Musk, said xAI had signed a contract to train its AI models on Oracle’s cloud. But xAI itself has revealed nothing about the inner workings of these AI models – or even the types of tasks they can perform.
Musk announced the launch of xAI in July with the ambitious goal of building an AI to “understand the true nature of the universe.” The company, led by Musk and veterans from DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla and the University of Toronto, is advised by Dan Hendrycks, director of the Center for AI Safety, a nonprofit research organization AI, and collaborates with X. and other companies in place of Musk, including Tesla.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson in April, Musk said he wanted to build what he called a “maximum truth-seeking AI.” Is Grok this AI? Maybe – or it’s a step towards something even bigger.
“In some important respects, it (the new xAI model) is the best that currently exists,” Musk said in a tweet Friday afternoon.
Musk’s AI ambitions have grown since the billionaire split with ChatGPT developer OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever several years ago. As OpenAI’s focus shifted from open source research to primarily commercial projects, Musk became disillusioned – and competitive – with the company whose board he sat on. Musk resigned from OpenAI’s board in 2018, most recently cutting off the company’s access to Twitter data after arguing that OpenAI was not paying enough for the privilege.