Elon Musk has introduced a new AI chatbot called Grok on his social media platform X (formerly Twitter), although it is currently only accessible to a select group of users.

On X, Musk claimed that Grok is “the best in several key aspects,” and he emphasized its affinity for sarcasm and its ability to respond to questions with a touch of humor.

Initial feedback, however, suggests that Grok encounters some of the common issues associated with other artificial intelligence tools. While some AI models refuse to answer specific questions, such as those requesting illegal advice, Musk asserts that Grok will respond to “provocative questions that most other AI systems reject.”

In a demonstration shared by Musk, Grok was asked for a step-by-step guide to making cocaine. Its response included a facetious statement, promising to provide the recipe, but it ultimately offered non-actionable information combined with sarcastic suggestions, while warning against pursuing such ideas.

Grok also inaccurately claimed that a jury took eight hours to deliver a guilty verdict during the trial of crypto-entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried, when, in reality, it took less than five hours.

Generative AI tools like Grok have faced criticism for generating text that, while convincingly styled, may contain basic errors.

The team responsible for Grok xAI, which launched in July, drew on talent from other AI research organizations. Although it operates as a separate company, it maintains a close connection to Musk’s other ventures, including X and Tesla.

Musk emphasized that Grok’s strength lies in its access to real-time information from the X platform, setting it apart from initial versions of some competitors. However, paying customers are increasingly gaining access to up-to-date responses from other AI tools.

Grok is currently in a beta testing phase but will become available to X’s paying subscribers. Musk announced that the chatbot will be integrated into the X app and offered as a standalone app.

At the UK’s AI summit, Musk acknowledged the risks associated with AI development but also expressed his longstanding support for the technology.

He co-founded OpenAI, the organization that introduced ChatGPT, the widely available AI tool. Microsoft has invested in OpenAI, making the tool accessible on its platform.

Since then, Google introduced its own AI model, Bard, and Meta launched Llama. These tools are designed to generate text responses that resemble human authorship by utilizing previously ingested information.

The name “Grok” originates from the science fiction novel “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein, where it refers to empathizing deeply with others.

However, xAI stated that Grok was inspired by “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, which initially existed as a BBC radio series in the 1980s and later expanded into print and film.

xAI described Grok as intended to answer a wide range of questions and even suggest what questions to ask. It clarified that Grok is a “very early beta product” created within a two-month training period.

Last Updated: 06 November 2023