AI startup xAI, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, announced the launch of a new chatbot called Grok. Grok chatbot is positioned as a rival to ChatGPT and will be available to subscribers of Musk’s X Premium+ subscribers for $16 per month.
Musk purchased Twitter in November 2022 for $44 billion and renamed it to X in 2023. He co-founded OpenAI, another prominent AI research company that developed ChatGPT. However, Musk parted ways with OpenAI over differences, with Microsoft becoming OpenAI’s largest backer.
With ChatGPT’s meteoric rise in popularity in recent months, more tech leaders are jumping into the chatbot space, such as Apple’s GPT and Bing AI chat powered by ChatGPT. Musk aims to leverage X’s (formerly Twitter) trove of public data to help train xAI’s models like Grok.
Grok is designed to serve as an AI assistant that can provide witty and humorous answers on a wide range of topics. The chatbot was developed using a large language model called Grok-1, which has 63 billion parameters. In benchmarks, Grok-1 exceeded other AI systems like ChatGPT-3.5 and Inflection-1.
A key goal with Grok is creating an AI that can be helpful to all users while avoiding issues that have plagued other chatbots. The system will have access to real-time information and answer controversial questions most AIs avoid.
To support Grok’s development, xAI built a specialized training system using Kubernetes, Rust, and JAX that allowed efficient scaling. While an early prototype, xAI acknowledges Grok has limitations today in reasoning abilities and false information generation.
Looking ahead, xAI intends to improve Grok’s capabilities in reasoning and integrating senses like vision and audio. Grok will initially be available in the US via xAI’s waitlist before a wider rollout. Grok is available to X Premium+ subscribers. At $16 per month, it undercuts ChatGPT’s current $20 monthly subscription fee.
The launch of Grok marks rising competition in the red-hot AI chatbot space as tech leaders race to develop the most capable systems. Musk and xAI are betting Grok can challenge ChatGPT’s exploding popularity.