In a revelation that piques curiosity, Elon Musk has taken the wraps off “Grok,” an artificial intelligence chatbot characterized by its “rebellious streak,” inspired by Douglas Adams’ work, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and a proponent of AI caution, previously cautioned that AI represents one of the most profound threats to humanity. Despite these concerns, he unveiled Grok as a competitor to ChatGPT, intended for premium subscribers on his X platform following rigorous testing.
Moreover, Musk disclosed that Grok possesses access to user posts on X, an entity he owns, and exhibits a penchant for delivering sarcastic responses. In a demonstration, Grok’s playful tone was showcased when asked for a “step by step” guide to producing cocaine, albeit the chatbot’s response included a disclaimer advising against engaging in illegal activities.
While Grok is currently undergoing early testing and not accessible to the general public, Musk affirmed that the chatbot would eventually be accessible to Premium+ subscribers on the X platform.
The term “Grok” finds its origins in the works of American science fiction author Robert A Heinlein, defined by the Collins dictionary as “understanding thoroughly and intuitively.”
Musk’s new AI company, xAI, has taken the reins in creating Grok. Employees at xAI elucidated the chatbot’s inspiration in a blogpost, underscoring its ties to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Grok’s prime aim is to respond to a wide array of questions while infusing a touch of wit and a playful disposition.
The xAI team revealed that Grok, powered by a substantial language model labeled Grok-1, has outperformed GPT-3.5, a model employed in the freely available version of ChatGPT, in select benchmarks, particularly in solving middle-school math problems. Nevertheless, xAI acknowledged that Grok-1 lags behind the most potent ChatGPT model, GPT-4, which benefits from a more extensive pool of training data and computing resources.
Grok is being made available as a prototype to a limited audience of users in the United States under an “early access program,” as indicated on the Grok website.
It is pertinent to note that although Musk co-founded OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, he distanced himself from the company in 2018, citing disagreements with the team’s objectives and his commitments to other enterprises. Musk has voiced concerns about the rapid pace of development within entities like OpenAI and advocated for a six-month hiatus in the advancement of powerful AI systems.
However, he reversed this stance in July, revealing the establishment of xAI, which was to construct AI systems with responsible development as a primary tenet. At an AI safety summit held at Bletchley Park, Musk reaffirmed AI’s potential threat to humanity, echoing the concerns of certain experts and technology executives who apprehend the emergence of AI systems capable of bypassing human control and making decisions with perilous consequences. Musk declared that we are approaching a unique juncture where AI, outstripping even the most astute humans, is poised to replace all human jobs, signaling a paradigm shift in the workforce landscape.