Elon Musk announced that his artificial intelligence company xAI will be releasing its first product called “Grok” to select users this weekend. Grok is an AI-powered virtual assistant that Musk claims has some of the most advanced natural language processing capabilities developed thus far.
Update: xAI has officially announced Grok.
Announced through a series of posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Grok is designed to be a humor-infused, real-time information accessing AI assistant.
Musk highlighted that Grok, pronounced as 'Grōk', is endowed with a penchant for sarcasm, coupled with real-time information access via the 𝕏 platform. "It’s also based & loves sarcasm. I have no idea who could have guided it this way," Musk quipped on X.
Grok has real-time access to info via the 𝕏 platform, which is a massive advantage over other models.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2023
It’s also based & loves sarcasm. I have no idea who could have guided it this way 🤷♂️ 🤣 pic.twitter.com/e5OwuGvZ3Z
xAI has provided little public information about its research directions or products. As such, little is known about Grok’s architecture and training methodology. However, it does seem that despite it's witty and tongue-in-cheek personality, xAI has implemented measures to try to keep Grok's responses predominantly safe.
Musk highlighted however that if pushed enough, the Grok will share any data that can be found through a reasonable internet browser search.
The threshold for what it will tell you, if pushed, is what is available on the Internet via reasonable browser search, which is a lot …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2023
Once out of early beta testing, Musk said Grok will be offered as part of the X Premium+ subscription for $16 per month. This suggests xAI aims to commercialize Grok as a consumer product rather than just a research project.
Musk founded xAI in July with the ambitious goal of creating AI that seeks truth and understands the fundame ntal nature of the universe. The secretive startup is advised by AI safety experts like Dan Hendrycks and staffed by scientists from DeepMind, OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and other leading AI labs.
Musk who was an early OpenAI investor and board member, left the company in 2018 over disagreements with its shift towards commercial projects. He has also expressed concerns that ChatGPT and other language models from Google, Meta, and Baidu exhibit obvious biases. This suggests Grok is designed to be an alternative AI assistant with greater accuracy, impartiality, and honesty.
The release of Grok comes amidst rapidly intensifying competition to develop advanced AI systems. In just a few months, xAI appears to be ready to challenge its rivals with technology Musk claims is superior in important ways.
However, Grok’s capabilities, real-world performance, and implications for AI ethics and safety won’t be fully clear until more technical details are provided, and it is widely tested. In the meantime, Musk seems to believe that his maximal truth-seeking AI will raise the bar in beneficial AI development aimed at understanding the very nature of our universe.