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Elon Musk enters AI chatbot showdown with Grok

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 06 Nov 2023
Elon Musk’s AI firm xAI has introduced the Grok chatbot. (Image: The Royal Society)
Elon Musk’s AI firm xAI has introduced the Grok chatbot. (Image: The Royal Society)

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has unveiled a chatbot named Grok on his X (formerly Twitter) platform, looking to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

In a statement posted on the xAI web site, the company says Grok is modelled after “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” − the comedy science fiction franchise created by Douglas Adams.

Described as the “conversational AI for understanding the universe”, Grok is designed “to answer almost anything and, far harder, even suggest what questions to ask”.

The AI firm says it aims to create AI tools that assist in the pursuit of understanding and Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak.

“We want Grok to serve as a powerful research assistant for anyone, helping them to quickly access relevant information, process data and come up with new ideas.”

Grok is powered by Grok-1, which is described by the xAI team as an in-house-developed frontier large language model (LLM). The LLM was developed through a series of evaluations to test its capabilities, such as word and math problems, multiple choice questions and Python code completion.

Grok, which has only two months of training, was created to rival ChatGPT. Musk has stated that “in some important respects, it [Grok] is the best that currently exists”.

Musk, who co-founded OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has been critical of the other AI ventures created by his rivals and vowed to develop a “maximally curious” AI when he launched xAI in July.

Grok joins the competitive league of AI chatbots, which already includes Google’s Bard, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing AI.

He says Grok has an advantage over other models because of its ability to access real-time information.

“Grok has real-time access to info via the X platform, which is a massive advantage over other models. It also loves sarcasm. I have no idea who could have guided it this way,” he says.

It is still in beta testing and is currently only available to premium subscribers on X. The new chatbot will be linked to Musk’s social media platform X and will later also be available as a standalone app.