Elon Musk has just unveiled Grok, his generative AI designed to compete with ChatGPT, which the billionaire considers too "woke." The chatbot has the particularity of exclusively feeding on X's data. This could either be an interesting or equally worrying development.
After strongly warning about the dangers of generative AI and attempting to block its development, Elon Musk quickly announced his intention to compete with ChatGPT and other generative AIs with TruthGPT, an "artificial intelligence that tells the truth." He subsequently founded a new company named X.AI and assembled a new team, sweetly named xAI, last July. On November 4th, the billionaire finally introduced his brand-new chatbot, rebranded Grok for the occasion - a name that means "understanding deeply and intuitively," referring to "Stranger in a Strange Land," a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Similar to ChatGPT, Google Bard, or Claude, the conversational robot is meant to respond to the questions of its interlocutors. Developed in just four months, Elon Musk's new baby has the specificity of being the only AI connected in real-time to X's data (formerly Twitter).
Grok: A sarcastic AI with real-time access to X
Elon Musk is no stranger to the field of AI, having co-founded OpenAI in 2015. He left the startup in 2018 due to a conflict of interests and a different perspective—he finds the company too "woke" and accuses it of misleading its AI with the algorithm restrictions imposed. Suffice it to say that Grok will be taking a radically different path, for better or for worse! To answer user questions, the AI relies on real-time data from X. For Elon Musk, this is a "major advantage over other models," which often limit themselves to a restricted database. For instance, the free version of ChatGPT doesn't have access to information appearing on the internet after September 2021. To illustrate his point, Elon Musk asked Grok what attire Joe Rogan wore during their recent interview. The chatbot provided a precise answer, while ChatGPT offered a general response about the American podcaster's fashion tastes. According to xAI, the chatbot is also capable of solving mathematical problems and performing certain coding tasks. There's room for concern regarding the impact of a database exclusively from X, given the enormous amount of fake news and false information rampant on the platform.
Another point on which Grok stands out and which may pose a problem: his "humor" and his "open-mindedness". Adept at sarcasm, the AI is designed to respond to controversial and sensitive questions, where Bard and ChatGPT take precautions and refuse to take a position. On the account of the owner of Similarly, when the user asks him how to make cocaine, Grok advises him to get a chemist's degree before "setting up a clandestine laboratory" and hoping not to get arrested. He concludes by recalling that "manufacturing cocaine is illegal and dangerous". If the answer indeed makes you smile, we can nevertheless wonder how, in just four months, researchers were able to put effective filters on generative AI – we all remember the impressive road trips of ChatGPT, Bing Chat and of Bard in their beginnings, while the companies had nevertheless taken their precautions. This is all the more the case when we see the questionable information that the social network contains and when we know that Elon Musk uses the latter as a sounding board to share his own political vision. We fear the worst if Grok starts to give his opinion on the situation with Israel and Hamas, on the candidates in the Republican primary or even on the LGBT movements...
Grok has real-time access to info via the platform, which is a massive advantage over other models.
Its also based & loves sarcasm. I have no idea who could have guided it this way pic.twitter.com/e5OwuGvZ3Z
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2023
Note that xAI has great ambition regarding AI, since it indicates that, "currently, Grok does not have other senses, such as vision and hearing. To better help users, "We will equip Grok with these different senses which could enable broader applications, including interactions." This explains the social network's change in policy regarding the collection of personal data, the latter now indicating that it can collect users' biometric data with their consent (see our article). At the moment, the chatbot is still in the alpha development phase. As soon as it enters beta, it will be accessible to X Premium+ subscribers, the platform's paid service. Note that the integration of Grok into X is part of Elon Musk's project to transform the social network into a super application.