Why Musk Open-Sourced AI Grok

Why Musk Open-Sourced AI Grok

Elon Musk’s AI startup, xAI has open- sourced its ChatGPT rival Grok, releasing its raw computer code, a week after the tech billionaire announced the plan to the public.

This will allow developers and researchers to build on the model and impact on how the startup updates the model “in the future as it competes with rival tech from OpenAI, Google, Meta, and others.”

Inevitable changes on the AI landscape

Musk announced his AI startup would open source the AI model weeks after he sued OpenAI for abandoning its original mission in favor of profit.

The AI firm on Sunday made the Grok model open source, escalating the war to control the booming generative AI sector.

According to a blog post, the open release includes “base model weights and network architecture” of the “314 billion parameter Mixture-of-Experts model, Grok-1.

The blog post further explains Grok is from a checkpoint last October, adding that it has not undergone fine-tuning “for any specific application, such as dialogue.

AI enthusiasts who took to social media described Grok as “more open source than other open weights models, which usually come with usage restrictions.”

Others think this will bring in a lot of changes on the AI landscape.

“The fact that Grok has become one of the largest open LLMs, alone has rearranged the chess board!,” posted an account identified as Freedom WithAI on X.

“I think for OS models to remain economically viable, opening code and training data will always be a challenge. So, overall – a great win.”

The X connection

A VentureBeat report states that the model is being released under Apache 2.0 license that enables “commercial use but doesn’t include the data used to train it or connections to X for real time data.

Grok is designed to give humorous replies and modelled after the science fiction novel “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

Although the xAI is independent from X platform, which Musk owns, its technology was integrated into the social media platform and trained on users’ posts.

Now, allowing users access to the Grok code, Musk is walking into the AI warzone where heated debates have been raging on whether to open-source AI models or keep them, closed.

Proponents of open sourcing AI models are of the view this will make the technology safer while there are also fears it may fall in wrong hands and abused, like used by terrorists to create chemical weapons.

Already there are numerous cases where generative AI has been used for wrong reasons like child pornography and scamming unsuspecting victims.

Also read: Microsoft Highlights Google’s Superiority In Generative AI

Hitting back at OpenAI

Industry experts speculate that the open-sourcing of Grok could be Musk’s strategic response to the ongoing lawsuit with OpenAI, making a statement to directly challenge the company.

Musk, who co-founded OpenAI before leaving years later has openly supported open sourcing AI models. He has argued that powerful tech like AI cannot be left in the hands tech giants like Google and Microsoft – a close partner of OpenAI.

Prior the ongoing lawsuit with OpenAI, Musk criticized the firm asserting his plans for a truth seeking AI model.

“The name, the open in OpenAI is supposed to mean open source, and it was created as a non-profit open source. And now it is closed source for maximum profit,” Musk has previously said.

By open sourcing Grok, Musk has drawn the battle lines in a war that is expected to see his AI startup race ahead of competitors.



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