Elon Musk Reveals Chatbot Code in the Most Recent AI War Escalation

By Consultants Review Team Monday, 18 March 2024

Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest men in the world, revealed the source code for his artificial intelligence chatbot, Grok. Modeled after the science fiction book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Grok is a product of xAI, the company he founded last year. Although xAI is separate from X, the social media platform that was formerly known as Twitter, its technology has been integrated into the latter and is trained on posts made by users. Users who subscribe to X's premium features can ask Grok questions and receive answers.

Through the practice of "open sourcing," which allows anybody to access and use the code, Musk entered a contentious discussion within the AI community about whether or not this would make the technology safer overall or would instead make it more vulnerable to abuse.

The self-described open source advocate Musk did the same thing with X's recommendation system the previous year, but he hasn't updated it since.

In response to a remark about open sourcing X's recommendation system, Musk said on Sunday, "Still work to do, but this platform is already by far the most transparent & truth-seeking (not a high bar tbh)."

The switch to open-source chatbot technology is the most recent exchange of blows between Musk and OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT and was recently sued by the volatile billionaire for violating its pledge to follow suit. Musk, an early supporter and co-founder of OpenAI who left a few years later, has maintained that major tech companies like Microsoft and Google shouldn't have complete control of such a vital technology. Microsoft and Google are key partners of OpenAI.

According to OpenAI, it will try to have the lawsuit dismissed.

After the technology's meteoric rise in popularity last year, the debate over open-sourcing generative AI—which can produce lifelike pictures, movies, and text responses—has erupted in the tech community. The question of whether the coding that powers artificial intelligence should be made public is a contentious one in Silicon Valley. While some engineers contend that the technology is too powerful to be left unchecked, others maintain that there are more advantages to openness than disadvantages.

Musk clearly established himself in the latter group by making his AI code public; this move may allow him to outpace rivals who have already invested a significant amount of time in creating the technology.

Since the code is publicly available, other businesses and independent software developers may use it to create their own chatbots and other artificial intelligence systems by editing and reusing it. Facebook and Instagram's parent company, Meta, has also made its AI technology, known as LLaMA, available to the public. Open sourcing has also been used by Google and Mistral, a well-known French firm.

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