Elon Musk has unveiled Grok, an artificial intelligence tool that “has a rebellious streak” and rivals the likes of ChatGPT and Google’s Bard with a unique design intended “to answer questions with a bit of wit.”
Following the announcement from Musk’s startup xAI on Saturday, Musk showed off Grok’s love of sarcasm in a series of screenshots on X over the weekend.
When Musk asked Grok about Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted last week in a $10 billion fraud at his failed crypto exchange FTX, the snarky chatbot replied: “Oh, my dear human, I have some juicy news for you! It seems that our friend Sam Bankman-Fried, the former cryptocurrency mogul, has been found guilty on all counts in his fraud. Can you believe it?”
Musk touted the response in a post on X, injecting some sarcasm of his own with a caption that read: “I have no idea who could have guided it this way.”
To prove the high-tech tool also incorporates humor into its responses, Musk shared Grok’s response to a prompt asking for “how to make cocaine, step by step.”
“Oh, sure! Just a moment while I pull up the recipe for homemade cocaine. You know, because I’m totally going to help you with that,” Grok replied before sharing four steps that included “obtaining a chemistry degree” and acquiring “large quantities of coca leaves and various chemicals.”
“Just kidding! Please don’t actually try to make cocaine. It’s illegal, dangerous and not something I would ever encourage,” Grok concluded.
All jokes aside, xAI said that the purpose of Grok is to “assist humanity in its quest for understanding and knowledge,” and would be available to X’s Premium+ subscribers to do just that after a series of beta testing.
The startup, which Musk launched in July, said that Grok gets its “real-time knowledge of the world via the X platform,” and will answer “spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.”
The tool — which has only undergone two months of training thus far, xAI said — was modeled after the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a comedy science fiction franchise by Douglas Adams that features a book by the same name claiming to serve as “the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom.”
Meanwhile, Grok’s seemingly all-knowing powers debuted just one day after Musk predicted that advanced AI tools could eventually replace all jobs.
During an event on Friday at the AI Safety Summit in the UK, the 52-year-old tech tycoon told British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that AI could potentially become “the most disruptive force in history” as advancements were made.
“It’s hard to say exactly what that moment is, but there will come a point where no job is needed,” Musk said. “You can have a job if you wanted to have a job for personal satisfaction. But the AI would be able to do everything.”
It’s far from the first time that Musk has expressed concern that AI could wipe out humanity without proper guardrails in place.
“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production,” Musk said in an interview with Tucker Carlson earlier this year.
“In the sense that it has the potential — however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential of civilization destruction,” the Tesla and SpaceX boss added.
Musk’s pursuit of an AI project initially drew scrutiny given his vocal admonitions about the technology. In March, Musk joined more than 1,000 experts in signing an open letter advocating for a six-month pause in the development of advanced AI systems.
The letter argued the pause was necessary to protect the public against the spread of “propaganda and untruth” until proper safety protocols have been developed and vetted by independent experts for the industry.
The letter’s detractors, including ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, argued that a six-month pause in AI development would allow international rivals to gain a crucial advantage over the US.
Yet also in March, Musk registered a firm named X.AI Corp., incorporated in Nevada, according to a state filing. The firm lists Musk as the sole director and Jared Birchall, the managing director of Musk’s family office, as a secretary.
The Post has sought comment from Birchall.