What is Grok by Elon Musk and X?

Elon Musk's Grok

Artificial intelligence continues to astound with its remarkable achievements. This time, the spotlight is on Elon Musk's latest xAI innovation, the "Grok" model – a chatbot capable of engaging in conversations on diverse subjects through its distinct "Grok" technology.

What sets this product apart is its capacity to access real-time data from the popular social platform X, distinguishing it from other language models like OpenAI's GPT and Google's PaLM. The creators thus have high hopes that Grok will surpass ChatGPT in its capabilities.

Musk highlighted Grok's unique advantage of having real-time access to information via the 𝕏 platform, and underscored the chatbot's ability to craft humorous texts and its distinctive rebellious spirit.

Musk has announced that Grok will be accessible as an early beta for paid X Premium+ subscribers, priced at $16 per month.

To showcase Grok's capabilities, Musk shared a screenshot of a conversation with the chatbot. In the generated text, Grok discusses the founder of the FTX crypto exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, who was recently found guilty of fraud. 

In November, the court ruled that the 31-year-old FTX founder had embezzled at least $10 billion from clients and investors.

It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried is facing a potential prison sentence of up to 110 years, a situation that Grok humorously remarks upon. "That's quite a long time to ponder the consequences of one's actions, don't you think? And to think, all of this could have been avoided if he had just followed the simple rule of not stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers. But alas, some people never learn," quipped the neural network in an ironic fashion.

According to the project description, "Grok is an artificial intelligence model inspired by the Space Tourist's Guide to the Galaxy, capable of providing answers to a wide range of queries." Grok is notably designed to respond with wit.

Elon Musk established the xAI company, which is venturing into the field of artificial intelligence, positioning it as a competitor to OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

Renowned for his sharp and sometimes controversial remarks, Musk demonstrated Grok's capabilities through another user dialogue example. 

In this interaction, the user asked the chatbot for instructions on producing cocaine, to which Grok responded sarcastically, offering a fictitious recipe involving "lots of sugar, soda, and water."

Business Insider submitted the same request regarding cocaine preparation to ChatGPT. The bot simply responded with, "I'm sorry, but I can't assist with this request," whereas Bard (Google) stated, "I'm a language model and lack the capability to assist with this."

On November 1, during the Artificial Intelligence Security Summit, Musk voiced his belief that these technologies could pose a threat to human existence.

He opined that for the first time, humans are encountering an entity "that may be much smarter than the smartest among us," and stressed the importance of utilizing this technology for the benefit of humanity. 

Musk also did not rule out the possibility that AI could have the potential to harm or even destroy the human race.

Musk has expressed his contentment with the xAI platform and the efficiency of Grok, hailing the new model as one of the finest on the market. He asserted, "Considering the critical aspects, this (the new xAI model) is currently the best available," underscoring the high level of confidence in its development potential.

Presently, access to Grok is restricted to select users by invitation from Musk, but plans are underway to expand access on Platform X. Additionally, there are intentions to make the xAI language model accessible to all X Premium+ subscribers, who will enjoy an ad-free platform experience. 

X offers three subscription plans: Premium+ at $16 per month, Basic at $3 per month, and Premium at $8 per month, each offering unique features and advantages.

Users interested in early access to test the chatbot need a prerequisite, which is a paid subscription to X Premium+, priced at $16 per month. Following the beta test phase, it will become accessible to all subscribers on paid plans.

Furthermore, it's evident from the billionaire's statements that his neural network's language model is characterised by a focus on sarcasm and a penchant for making caustic comments. Musk admitted his uncertainty about the origin of this "personality" trait.

In April, Elon Musk established a new company, X.AI Corp, with a focus on artificial intelligence. Today, the company unveiled its inaugural development: a conversational chatbot named Grok, positioned as a ChatGPT alternative with superior capabilities. 

Users can express their interest in early access to test the chatbot.

As outlined on the official project website, Grok is an artificial intelligence system crafted in the spirit of the Guide to the Galaxy. Its real-time data access through the X platform stands as a crucial advantage over other similar chatbots.

It's worth noting that Musk was an early contributor to OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, serving as a co-founder since 2015. However, in 2018, he had to step down from the board of directors due to a conflict of interest. 

Paradoxically, despite Musk's repeated warnings about the perils of artificial intelligence, including the potential for "civilization's destruction," he remains engaged in the AI bot race.

The trend set by ChatGPT has generated significant interest, prompting both major and smaller entities to integrate AI into their products. For instance, Zuckerberg's Meta is preparing to introduce distinctive chatbots with various personalities, such as one emulating the speech of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, and another taking the persona of a surfer, offering travel advice.

Furthermore, it has been reported that Apple engineers are working on an attempt to create a Siri-based smart chatbot, likely influenced by the success of ChatGPT.

However, experts are sceptical about their prospects, believing that success may elude them even in the coming years. 

This bot represents the initial innovation from Musk's AI startup, xAI, which he initially announced in July. Musk has assigned the startup's 12-person team an ambitious mission: to "comprehend the genuine essence of the universe."

xAI focuses on advancements in artificial intelligence. According to its website, xAI's primary objective is to "grasp the true essence of the universe." The company's team comprises developers with prior experience at DeepMind, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Twitter, and Tesla, including contributions to the development of GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 chatbots and the AlphaCode artificial intelligence system.

For those curious about the word "Grok" and its potential to shed light on Musk's vision of the "true essence of the Universe," it is a verb that signifies "to intuitively understand or empathise" or "to establish a connection with," as per the Oxford English Dictionary. 

This term was coined by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein in 1961 for his novel "Strangers in a Strange Land." Today, it is frequently employed in technical circles to signify profound understanding. Notably, the AI training period during the beta test is set at two months.

The website explains, 

"After xAI was announced, we trained a prototype LLM (Grok-0) with 33 billion parameters. This early model approaches the performance of LLaMA 2 (70B) on standard LM tests, but utilizes only half of its training resources. Over the past two months, we have made significant improvements in reasoning and encoding capabilities, resulting in the creation of Grok-1, a state-of-the-art language model that demonstrates remarkable power, achieving 63.2% on the HumanEval encoding task and 73% on MMLU. xAI also publishes benchmark results for Grok, which reveal that the current version outperforms other models in its computing class, including ChatGPT-3.5 and Inflection-1. GPT-4 still surpasses it significantly, primarily due to its more extensive data and computing resources."

When it comes to access to Platform X, it remains a subject of curiosity. X often delivers news more swiftly than traditional outlets, but the information may lack thorough verification. It will be intriguing to observe how Grok distinguishes fact from fiction – perhaps community input will play a role in this, though Musk has not clarified this aspect. 

However, it is unlikely that the bot will excel in this area compared to Elon Musk himself, who has occasionally demonstrated a less discerning approach to general information.

Grok is still labeled as a "very early beta product" set to advance rapidly, with additional security measures planned to prevent malicious use. 

xAI affirms, 

"We believe that artificial intelligence has substantial potential to contribute significant scientific and economic value to society, so we will endeavor to establish robust safeguards against catastrophic forms of malicious use," as noted by xAI.

Musk, who also serves as the founder and head of Tesla and SpaceX, actively incorporates artificial intelligence into his projects.