Elon Musk says xAI will open-source Grok amid OpenAI dispute

Elon Musk has indicated his artificial intelligence (AI) startup xAI will open-source Grok, its chatbot rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The Tesla billionaire was once closely associated with OpenAI as a co-founder, but he walked away years ago to follow his own path in AI development, with a bitter fallout ensuing. Musk has taken legal action against his former company and its incumbent CEO, Sam Altman, for allegedly reneging on its original purpose to build AI for the benefit of humanity and not for the pursuit of profit.

In December 2023, Grok was rolled out to premium subscribers on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, with the inclusion of a real-time feature exhibiting a thorough understanding of current events.

The AI assistant was described as “snarky and anti-woke” as part of a perceived agenda to challenge political correctness in digital spaces.

This week, @xAI will open source Grok

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 11, 2024

How has Open AI responded to Elon Musk’s claims?

In recent days, OpenAI fired a sharp rebuke at Musk in response to his lawsuit, whilst dismissing the extent of his early involvement and influence within the most valuable AI startup.

An official blog post, penned collectively by Altman, Greg Brockman, John Schulman, Ilya Sutskever, and Wojciech Zaremba detailed how it had raised less than $45 million from Musk, despite his pledge to bring in up to $1 billion in funding.

OpenAI stated how it received more than $90 million from other donors to develop its research, seeking to place Musk on the fringes of its journey.

In response to his claims, the company implored it has remained true to its mission “to ensure AGI benefits all of humanity, which means both building safe and beneficial AGI”, “every step of the way”.

Another contentious aspect of the disagreement is the counter-claim Musk wanted OpenAI to merge with Tesla or to give him full control.

This is an intriguing, meaningful lawsuit in the overall landscape, which is likely to have a bearing on the balance of power in the AI race, as well as its direction.

Featured image: Midjourney

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Graeme Hanna