xAI, Elon Musk’s new AI venture, launched its first AI chatbot technology named Grok. Musk is positioning xAI to compete with OpenAI, Inflection, Anthropic, and other leading AI bots.
According to Musk, the goal of his new company, xAI, is to build artificial intelligence “to advance our collective understanding of the universe.”. xAI was launched in July with a team of former employees of OpenAI, DeepMind, and more.
Prior to the launch of the technology on Saturday, November 4th, Musk said on X, “Tomorrow, xAI will release its first AI to a select group. In some important respects, it is the best that currently exists.”
According to a statement from xAI, Grok is modeled on “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and is designed to have “a bit of wit,” “a rebellious streak” and it should answer the “spicy questions” that other AI might dodge.
Grok is a term coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his 1961 science fiction novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” It is a Martian term with no direct Earthling translation, but critics have settled on the word meaning some version of having very deep empathy or intuition about something.
According to Greg Yang, co-founder of xAI, the startup will delve into the “mathematics of deep learning,” a facet of AI, and “develop the ‘theory of everything’ for large neural networks” to take AI “to the next level.”
The new chatbot also has access to data from X, formerly Twitter, which xAI said will give it a leg-up over other models. Leading up to the release, Musk posted a side-by-side comparison of Grok answering a question versus another AI bot which he said has less current information.
xAI also stated that, as with any Large Language Model, or LLM, Grok “can still generate false or contradictory information.” The prototype for the chatbot is only two months into training and is only available to a select number of users to test before being released more widely.
On the initial round of tests, based on middle school math problems and Python coding tasks, the company stated that Grok surpassed “all other models in its compute class, including ChatGPT-3.5 and Inflection-1.” It was, however, outperformed by chatbots with larger data troves.
“In some important respects, it is the best that currently exists,” Musk said in an X post leading up to the Grok announcement.
For a chance to use the bot, users can sign up for a waitlist before Grok becomes a feature of X Premium +, which costs $16 per month.