Elon Musk has recently announced the launch of his new company, xAI, which aims to understand the true nature of the universe. The company has introduced its first technology called Grok, which is inspired by "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and is described as having wit and a rebellious streak. Grok is designed to answer the "spicy questions" that other AI might avoid.
In a recent tweet, Musk shared an example of Grok responding to a request for a step-by-step cocaine recipe, demonstrating its ability to provide unconventional answers. The company claims that Grok has an advantage due to its access to data from X, the former Twitter platform. Musk also posted a comparison between Grok and another AI bot, highlighting Grok's access to more current information.
However, xAI acknowledges that, like any Large Language Model, Grok may still generate false or contradictory information. The prototype is currently in its early beta phase, with a limited number of users testing it before a wider release. Interested users can sign up for a waitlist for a chance to use Grok. Musk plans to eventually make Grok available as a feature of X Premium+, which will cost $16 per month.
Musk seems to position xAI as a competitor to companies like OpenAI, Inflection, and Anthropic. In initial tests, Grok outperformed other models in its compute class in middle school math problems and Python coding tasks. However, it was surpassed by bots with larger data troves.
The term "Grok" was coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his science fiction novel "Stranger in a Strange Land." It is a Martian term with no direct translation in English, but it generally refers to a deep understanding or empathy with something.
xAI was launched in July and comprises a team of former employees from OpenAI, DeepMind, and other notable companies. The company's mission is to build AI that advances our collective understanding of the universe. Musk has previously criticized the trend of "politically correct" AI systems and aims to create AI that caters to people of all backgrounds and political views. Grok is seen as a means of testing this approach in the public domain.
xAI is still hiring for various positions as it continues to expand its team.