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What Is Grok?

Grok, developed by Musk’s company xAI, is an AI bot much like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Except Grok has the ability to access real-time knowledge through the X platform, formerly known as Twitter. And unlike other models on the market, Grok is willing to tackle “spicy” questions and programmed to do so in a way that is both witty and a little bit rebellious.

Grok announcement tweet from xAI
Grok is still a beta product, developed over only two months of training. However, xAI claims the bot will evolve quickly with the help of user feedback.

When one user on Twitter questioned the release of Grok not long after Musk’s call for a pause on AI development, Musk responded, “I signed on to that letter knowing it was futile. I just wanted to be on record as recommending a pause.”

How Does Grok Work?
Grok’s development involved building a robust infrastructure using Kubernetes, Rust and JAX. The team at xAI emphasized the importance of a reliable infrastructure in deep learning research, and Rust has proven invaluable for its performance and reliability. As Grok prepares for further iterations, the team claims it’s focused on scalable, efficient and reliable training and inference systems.

Grok’s research aims to overcome the limitations of current AI models by focusing on reliable reasoning, scalable oversight with tool assistance, integration with formal verification for safety, long-context understanding and retrieval and improving adversarial robustness. Plans to enhance Grok with multimodal capabilities, like vision and audio, are also underway.

Is Grok Uncensored?
Grok will answer “spicy” questions that most other AI systems reject, according to xAI. And it’s already shown some “very fantastic” results on controversial queries, said Satyam Srivastava, management consultant.

He pointed to a recent Tweet from Elon Musk, where one user asked Grok for step-by-step instructions on how to make cocaine, or what Grok referred to as the “infamous white powder.”

Elon Musk tweet showcasing Grok’s response to someone asking for directions for making cocaine.

At first, Grok infused a little humor into its response, with step 4 reading “Start cooking and hope you don’t blow yourself up or get arrested.” But Musk then shared a further, more detailed response on the process, which the bot claimed is for “educational purposes.”

“This approach has coined its distinction already in the market where other AI products shy away from such questions,” said Srivastava.

Is Grok Better Than ChatGPT?
Grok-1, the engine behind Grok, boasts impressive performance in machine learning benchmarks, even surpassing other models in its compute class. For example, Grok-1 outperformed ChatGPT-3.5 and Inflection-1, only falling behind larger models like GPT-4.

Musk shared an image on Twitter showcasing how Grok utilizes current information in its responses compared to other typical GPT.

Elon Musk tweet on how Grok compares to other GPTs
“This clearly underlines the start of heated competition in the GenAI space,” said Srivastava. “Grok AI is trained on a massive dataset of text and code that includes more recent and more relevant information and is focused on human conversations and includes more examples of natural language, which will allow Grok AI to better understand the nuances of human language, such as sarcasm, humor and slang.”

How Accurate Is Grok?
One test for Grok was the 2023 Hungarian National High School Math Exam, where it earned a grade of C. And in the future, said Srivastava, with Grok using more advanced learning algorithms, it will likely be able to learn and adapt even faster than ChatGPT and Bard.

Still, said Sharon Gai, keynote speaker and founder of Culture Fluid, since Grok was mostly trained on Twitter’s user data, she has to pause on the accuracy of it.

“Anyone can tweet anything on Twitter and the platform already suffers from major misinformation, while ChatGPT is mainly trained on published journals, websites and books,” she explained.

Gai added that Musk’s push to release his own AI bot is fueled by his plans to monetize twitter following his unsuccessful blue checkmark campaign.

“Currently,” she said, “the only upside he offers is that the data is recent and that it can answer more questions than the ‘woke’ ChatGPT. Adding this product also folds well into his plan of making X into a superapp, having already acquired a banking license for the platform with plans to launch livestreaming services.”

How to Use Grok
Grok is currently only available to a limited number of users in the United States, with the purpose of sharing feedback for further improvements. Musk tweeted that, once out of beta, Grok will be available to X Premium+ subscribers, prioritized based on the length of time someone has had a subscription. Those interested in the platform can join the waitlist here.

Musk, said Gai, fancies an internet that is less moderate and more abrasive at times, as evidenced by his purchase of Twitter. “He believes in free speech in an absolute way and he doesn’t believe in the censorship of sensitive information or abrasive language. I predict Grok will echo that.”




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