Earlier this year (July 12th), Elon Musk announced the formation of X.AI, a new company dedicated to developing AI-powered technology. At the time, it was suggested the first product was just weeks away, but things took a little longer. Today, Musk shared the first screenshot from the first service, which is called ‘Grok’.
The meaning of grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy, to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment”.
From the screenshot shared, Grok is clearly an AI system, using Large Language Models, similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard and Microsoft’s Bing Chat.
Musk suggests Grok is a little different as the text-based service features a sense of humor, something not available elsewhere.
Other LLMs are trained on billions of data points from publicly available data, while it is not clear what training data was used to train the Grok model, it’s likely a curated list of online sources was used here.
While the first example shared shows the responses can contain funny answers, I expect there’ll be some level of control over how much comedy is found in the responses. For this to be useful for business applications, it’ll need to have the ability to deliver serious responses where needed.
Outside comedy, there’s the obvious question that comes to mind, what makes this better than the other LLMs already available?
Grok is currently only available as a closed alpha to a small number of users. If I get access, I’ll certainly bring you more information on what Grok has to offer.
Musk has followed up with a couple of subsequent Tweets, the important one is the following. X recently added a new Premium subscription tier known as X Premium+. Musk confirmed that as soon as Grok is out of early beta, xAI’s Grok will be available to all X Premium+ subscribers.
Beta software and services can be charged, but typically are offered free, given the developers are typically seeking feedback from the community to iron out the bugs and increase the stability of the platform. While Musk doesn’t absolutely confirm this, it seems the Premium+ subscription would include access to xAI’s Grok, but until we get to see more of it, its hard to know what value that really offers and if it would justify upgrading your X subscription by a few dollars per month to access it.