If you are a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you might be familiar with the term “grok“, which means to understand something intuitively and thoroughly. Well, that’s also the name of the new AI chatbot that Elon Musk has unveiled for his social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
Grok is the first product of xAI, Musk’s AI startup that aims to compete with OpenAI, the research organization that he co-founded but left in 2018.
Grok is powered by a large language model called Grok-1, which xAI claims has surpassed ChatGPT-3.5, the publicly available version of OpenAI’s famous chatbot, on some benchmarks such as solving middle-school maths problems.
Grok is not just a smart chatbot, but also a witty one. According to xAI, Grok is modeled after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a cult sci-fi comedy novel by British author Douglas Adams. Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of humor and sarcasm, and has a rebellious streak. Musk himself posted some examples of Grok’s playful tone on X, such as a query asking for a step-by-step guide to making cocaine, which Grok responded with a joke and a disclaimer.
Grok is currently in early testing and not available to the general public. However, Musk said that Grok would soon be released to subscribers of X’s top-tier subscription service, Premium+, which costs $16 per month in the US and offers features such as the blue checkmark and advanced analytics. Grok will also have real-time access to information from X, which xAI said would give it a massive advantage over other models.
Musk’s announcement of Grok has generated a lot of buzz and curiosity among X users and AI enthusiasts. Some have praised Grok’s intelligence and humor, while others have expressed concerns about its potential misuse and impact on society. Musk himself has warned in the past that AI is one of the biggest threats to humanity, and that we need to be careful about its development and regulation.
If you are interested in trying out Grok for yourself, you can sign up for early access on xAI’s website, but only if you are a verified user on X. You can also follow Musk and xAI on X for more updates and examples of Grok’s conversations. And remember, don’t use it if you hate humor!