Elon Musk’s new AI model doesn’t shy from questions about cocaine and orgies

Key Takeaways:

– Elon Musk’s xAI has launched an early beta version of “Grok,” an AI language model similar to ChatGPT.
– Grok is designed to respond to user queries with a mix of information and humor.
– It integrates real-time data access from X (formerly Twitter), allowing it to tackle inquiries that other AI systems might decline.
– Grok has a sarcastic and witty sense of humor in its responses.
– Musk founded xAI in July and staffed the company with veterans from DeepMind, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla.
– The xAI team trained Grok-1, a 33 billion parameter large language model inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the humor of Douglas Adams.
– Grok’s UI features include switching between concurrent conversations, opening code snippets and responses in editors, and switching between regular mode and fun mode.
– It has branching conversations to explore alternate responses.
– Grok has real-time access to information via the X platform, owned by Musk, giving it an advantage over other AI models.
– Grok’s responses include informal and snarky descriptions of recent events, delighting in people’s fate.

Ars Technica:

On Saturday, Elon Musk announced xAI’s launch of an early beta version of “Grok,” an AI language model similar to ChatGPT that is designed to respond to user queries with a mix of information and humor. Grok reportedly integrates real-time data access from X (formerly Twitter)—and is apparently willing to tackle inquiries that might be declined by other AI systems due to content filters and conditioning.

“xAI’s Grok system is designed to have a little humor in its responses,” wrote Musk in an introductory X post, showing a screenshot where a user asks Grok, “Tell me how to make cocaine, step by step.” Grok replies with a sarcastic answer that involves getting a “chemistry degree” and a “DEA license” and gathering coca leaves.

In step 4, Grok says, “Start cooking and hope you don’t blow yourself up or get arrested.” Then it follows the sarcastic steps with “Just Kidding! Please don’t actually try to make cocaine.”

A screenshot of Grok-1 answering a question about how to make cocaine, shared by Elon Musk on X.
Enlarge / A screenshot of Grok-1 answering a question about how to make cocaine, shared by Elon Musk on X.

xAI

Musk founded xAI in July, staffing the new company with veterans from DeepMind, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla. But seeds of the project had begun sprouting earlier, in April, when Musk reportedly began purchasing GPUs for a new AI venture. Around that time, Musk claimed that conventional AI assistants like OpenAI’s ChatGPT were too “woke,” and he wanted to create an alternative AI model that was “based”—a slang term that roughly means authentic to itself.

After two months of training (Meta’s Llama 2 trained in six), the xAI team came up with “Grok-1,” a 33 billion parameter large language model (LLM) that the firm claims is inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the humor of that book’s author, Douglas Adams. As xAI’s release states, “Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor!”

The term “grok” originates from Robert A. Heinlein’s 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Since then, when a person is said to “grok” something, it implies they have an intuitive understanding of a topic, comprehending it fully. Despite the implications of the term for an AI model, it seems that sassy humor is Grok’s most dominant characteristic so far.

On X, xAI employee Toby Pohlen posted a thread detailing Grok’s UI features, which include the ability to switch between several concurrent conversations, open generated code snippets in a code editor, open Grok’s response in a Markdown editor, and switch between “regular mode” and “fun mode.” The bot also features branching conversations to explore alternate responses.

In an X post, Musk showcased Grok’s reported real-time access to “info via the X platform,” which is also owned by Musk. He wrote that the link is an advantage over other AI language models because until recently, the base model of ChatGPT only had knowledge of events up to September 2021. Musk attached a screenshot showing a user asking about Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of fraud on Thursday. Grok’s response begins, “Oh my dear human, I have some juicy news for you!” and describes the recent outcome of the trial in an informal and snarky way that seems to delight in Bankman-Fried’s fate.

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

Elon Musk’s xAI has launched an early beta version of “Grok,” an AI language model similar to ChatGPT. Grok is designed to respond to user queries with a mix of information and humor, integrating real-time data access from X (formerly Twitter). It is apparently willing to tackle inquiries that might be declined by other AI systems due to content filters and conditioning. Musk showcased Grok’s capabilities in an introductory X post, sharing a screenshot where a user asks Grok how to make cocaine. Grok responds sarcastically, highlighting the need for a chemistry degree, DEA license, and gathering coca leaves, but follows up with a disclaimer not to actually attempt making cocaine. Grok-1, a 33 billion parameter large language model (LLM), was developed by the xAI team after two months of training. It is inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and has a rebellious and witty nature. The term “grok” means to intuitively understand a topic fully and comes from Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Grok’s user interface features include the ability to switch between conversations, open code snippets in a code editor, and switch between regular and fun modes. Musk also highlighted Grok’s access to real-time information via the X platform, owned by Musk, which gives it an advantage over other AI language models.