Days after warning AI is a threat to humanity, Elon Musk has unveiled his own chatbot named Grok, which will be trained on X and answer ‘spicy’ questions.
Announcing the new chatbot on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Musk said: ‘xAI’s Grok system is designed to have a little humor in its responses.
‘Grok has real-time access to info via the X platform, which is a massive advantage over other models.
‘It’s also based [sic] and loves sarcasm. I have no idea who could have guided it this way.’
The message was followed by the shoulder-shrugging and laughing crying emojis.
Examples of the chatbot in action included offering joke instructions on how to make cocaine – Mr Musk has suggested it still won’t answer every question for safety reasons – and a sarcastic summary of FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial, which opened with the slightly sinister line ‘Oh dear human, I have some juicy news for you!’.
Mr Musk also wrote: ‘In some important respects, it [xAI’s new model] is the best that currently exists.’.
He shared a side-by-side screenshot of Grok versus an existing AI chatbot to demonstrate his new model offers more up to date information, using a recent interview with Joe Rogan as an example.
A post on X from xAI, the company behind the chatbot, said it was inspired by one of the most famous works of science fiction.
‘Grok is an AI modeled after the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so intended to answer almost anything and, far harder, even suggest what questions to ask!
‘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 name Grok was originally coined by Robert Heinlein for his 1961 science fiction novel Stranger In A Strange Land, and means ‘to understand something thoroughly and intuitively’.
xAI continued: ‘A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the X platform.
‘It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.
‘Grok is still a very early beta product – the best we could do with two months of training – so expect it to improve rapidly with each passing week with your help.’
When launching xAI in July, Mr Musk gave only a vague – if ambitious – mission statement, to ‘understand the true nature of the universe’.
Whether the answer to that can be found on X remains to be seen, but it may prove adept at fixing one of the SpaceX and Tesla CEO’s other bugbears, chatbots that are ‘too politically correct’.
In an interview with conservative pundit Tucker Carlson in April, Mr Musk pledged to launch his own chatbot named ‘TruthGPT’, which would be a ‘maximum truth-seeking AI’.
The launch of Grok comes just days after he claimed that AI is ‘one of the biggest threats to humanity’ at the UK AI Safety Summit.
‘We have for the first time the situation where we have something that is going to be far smarter than the smartest human,’ said Mr Musk.
‘We’re not stronger or faster than other creatures, but we are more intelligent, and here we are for the first time, really in human history, with something that is going to be far more intelligent than us.
‘It’s not clear to me if we can control such a thing, but I think we can aspire to guide it in a direction that’s beneficial to humanity.’
Mr Musk was a founding board member of OpenAI, the company behind one of the world’s most powerful AI chatbots ChatGPT.
He later revealed he left the company because he ‘didn’t agree with some of what the OpenAI team wanted to do’.