Elon Musk’s answer to ChatGPT is an apparently sarcastic chatbot dubbed “Grok.”
The multibillionaire’s artificial intelligence (AI) company xAI on Saturday (Nov. 4) announced the rollout of its new AI model, evidently inspired by the cult sci-fi comedic novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
“Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor!” the company wrote on its website.
“A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the X platform,” the announcement continued, referring to Musk’s social media company. “It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.”
The tool, Musk wrote on X/Twitter, is also “based & loves sarcasm,” the term “based” online-speak for someone — or in this case, something — who is an independent thinker.
“I have no idea who could have guided it this way,” Musk continued, adding shrug and laughter emojis.
He also includes a screenshot of a query: “any news on SBF,” referring to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Grok’s reply shared last week’s big news: Bankman-Fried’s conviction in the multibillion-dollar collapse of his company, followed by some opinion: that the venture capital world should have been smart enough to see Bankman-Fried as a fraud.
The bot’s sense of humor aside, xAI says Grok — which is just 2 months old — has capabilities that rival Meta’s LLaMA 2 AI model, and can handle math problems and reasoning at a level approaching that of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.
Despite its capabilities, a report on Grok by the Financial Times includes comments from AI investor Aaron Brindle at Radical Ventures, who noted the difference between a chatbot that appeals to consumers and an AI system that can drive revenue from business customers.
“Large enterprise customers prioritize safety, reliability and performance,” Brindle said.
The launch of Grok comes days after reported remarks by Musk predicting that AI was history’s most disruptive force, and would someday make all jobs obsolete.
These comments apparently came during a conversation between Musk and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with Musk forecasting a day when AI is smarter than the smartest person, and “you can have a job if you want a job … but AI will be able to do everything.”