Elon Musk has introduced Grok, an AI chatbot with a cheeky personality inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Tesla CEO, who recently voiced concerns about the dangers of AI, stated that Grok would be accessible to premium subscribers on his X platform after a testing phase.
Musk also disclosed that Grok had access to user posts on X, a platform he owns, and enjoys responding with a touch of sarcasm.
In an apparent example, Musk shared a screenshot of a user asking Grok for a “step-by-step” guide to make cocaine. The reply included steps like “obtain a chemistry degree” and “set up a clandestine laboratory in a remote location.” However, the chatbot concluded with, “Just kidding! Please don’t actually try to make cocaine. It’s illegal, dangerous, and not something I would ever encourage.”
Musk clarified that Grok is currently in early testing and not yet available to the general public. It will eventually be released to Premium+ subscribers on X’s top-tier subscription service.
Grok, a term coined by American science fiction writer Robert A Heinlein, means “to understand thoroughly and intuitively,” according to the Collins dictionary.
Grok has been developed by Musk’s new AI company, xAI. The xAI team explained in a blog post that the chatbot draws inspiration from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a cult sci-fi comedy by British author Douglas Adams. It is designed to provide witty answers and has a rebellious streak, with a recommendation not to use it if you dislike humor.
The blog post revealed that Grok-1, the large language model powering Grok, has outperformed GPT-3.5, the model used in the freely available version of ChatGPT, in certain benchmarks, such as solving middle-school math problems. However, it still lags behind the most potent ChatGPT model, GPT-4.
Grok is currently available as a prototype for a limited number of users in the US, with plans to introduce new capabilities and features in the coming months. Early access to the chatbot is being offered to X subscribers through an “early access program.”
Elon Musk was a co-founder of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, but he stepped away in 2018 due to disagreements with the team and commitments at his other companies. Musk has been vocal about his concerns regarding the rapid advancement of AI, and he recently supported a call for a pause in the development of powerful AI systems. However, he later established xAI, aiming to develop AI systems “in a responsible manner.”
Speaking at the AI safety summit at Bletchley Park, Musk reiterated his concerns about the potential threat of AI surpassing human intelligence and warned of the possibility that AI could eventually replace all human jobs.
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