Elon Musk Says xAI to Open-Source Grok This Week

grok by xai
Image Courtesy: x.ai
In Short
  • Elon Musk announces that xAI's Grok model will be open-sourced this week.
  • It's notable that Elon Musk recently filed a lawsuit against OpenAI for allegedly becoming a closed-source company.
  • We are not sure of the open-source license under which the Grok model will be released.

In a surprising move, Elon Musk has announced that its AI startup — xAI — will be open-sourcing Grok this week, the company’s large language model. Grok was unveiled in November last year and it’s currently available to Premium+ subscribers (costs $16 per month) on X (formerly Twitter). The Grok chatbot was released as a direct response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but the model has not shown great promise yet.

Elon Musk has been outspoken against aggressive guardrails that make the AI models avoid sensitive topics. Therefore, Grok is seen as a culmination of Musk’s vision where the AI chatbot doesn’t shy away from answering political or sensitive questions.

That said, Grok has been found to hallucinate a lot on many topics, and even on the political spectrum, it aligned more to the left, something Musk has been vocal against. Now, with the open-source strategy, xAI is putting its confidence in the open-source community to steer the model and improve it significantly.

Meta has been the front-runner in open-sourcing AI models. We recently saw the release of Llama 2 by Meta AI, and Google also released a tiny AI model called Gemma. If xAI chooses to release the weights of the Grok AI model under a fairly reasonable open-source license, it might drive the community to work and improve the model for different use cases.

I am not sure whether xAI will release Grok with minimal restrictions for commercial usage. While Llama 2 is open-source, it requires apps and services to get a special license if the user base expands to more than 700 million monthly users. Similarly, xAI may also add similar commercial usage restrictions.

Apart from that, Elon Musk recently sued OpenAI and Sam Altman over OpenAI’s volte-face to become a closed-source company. Musk later said that he would drop the lawsuit if OpenAI changed its name to “ClosedAI“. Perhaps, in that spirit, Elon Musk is open-sourcing Grok which may cement his position on open-sourcing future AI technologies.

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