On Saturday, Elon Musk and the recently founded xAI company announced Grok. Today it went live to a select beta testing group in the US. Grok is a new large language model (LLM) AI chatbot being built to “assist in the pursuit of understanding,” and inject some humor into its responses. Grok will be available to all X Premium+ subscribers ($16pcm) when it exits beta, but there is no public timeline for this yet.
According to the xAI blog, Grok has been in development for four months, with just two months of training completed. The development team appear to be proud of Grok-1, the debut Grok LLM, and have produced a performance comparison table, which we have reproduced below.
From those figures, Grok-1 does indeed seem to be quite an achievement. A comment on the xAI blog frames the progress so far as being “exceptional,” as only models with significantly longer / larger training are better according to the four metrics.
While admittedly somewhat stunted for now, xAI and Musk claim that Grok has a “unique and fundamental advantage,” due to its knowledge gleaned from the Twitter/X platform.
Some may be wondering why we need another LLM, like Grok. A mission statement of sorts comes packed with highfalutin language about “building AI tools that maximally benefit all of humanity,” as well as being a powerful research assistant, and ideas generator.
Grok AI Is Primed for Controversy
Several statements within the launch materials appear to prepare readers for upcoming controversies. One of the mission-statement-style nuggets is that Grok will be “useful to people of all backgrounds and political views.” Moreover, it is stated that it will “answer spicy questions.” Last but not least, its pre-advertized humor, sarcasm, and beta work-in-progress status statements may have been carefully set up as a shield against criticism for the inevitable incoming blunders.
For a taste of some Grok interaction, Musk has shared several of the chatbot’s humorous responses to queries. One example can be seen above. Another example of Grok comes from a side-by-side comparison with another GPT, as embedded below.
Example of Grok vs typical GPT, where Grok has current information, but other doesn’t pic.twitter.com/hBRXmQ8KFiNovember 5, 2023
There is no public timeline for when Grok will be out of beta but you can join a waitlist to hop on the first step of the journey with xAI. If it does indeed turn out to be a valuable tool, its $16pcm entry price slightly undercuts OpenAI’s ChatGPT at $20.