Elon Musk makes Grok AI open source amid ongoing OpenAI lawsuit

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Elon Musk said xAI is making its AI chatbot Grok open source to challenge OpenAI’s closed ChatGPT model.

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Elon Musk makes Grok AI open source amid ongoing OpenAI lawsuit

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Elon Musk announced that xAI would make its artificial intelligence (AI) model Grok open source as a lawsuit against rival AI chatbot developer OpenAI gathers pace. 

In a March 11 X post, Musk said Grok will be open source from this week.

Musk announces Grok AI will be open source. Source: Elon Musk on X

While Musk did not elaborate on his plans to make Grok open source, the responses to his post were mostly positive, with users praising him for the decision. One user responded by saying, “OpenAI should do the same. If they are ‘open’ that is,” to which Musk replied, “OpenAI is a lie.” 

Musk called OpenAI a liein response to an X user suggesting it should make ChatGPT open source. Source: Elon Musk on X 

On Feb. 29, Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, claiming a breach of the agreement made when OpenAI was founded as a nonprofit organization. He argues that OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft goes against the founding principles of the nonprofit agreement to advance open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity. 

Microsoft had reportedly invested nearly $3 billion into OpenAI by the end of 2023.

In the lawsuit, Musk urges OpenAI to return to its initial open-source principles and requests an injunction to stop the for-profit exploitation of AGI technology. However, a few days after the lawsuit was filed, OpenAI executives issued a joint statement revealing emails sent by Musk appearing to agree with the company’s transformation into a for-profit entity.

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Since the lawsuit was filed, OpenAI has reinstated CEO Sam Altman as a member of its board following his firing and re-hiring in November 2023. At the time, the board said they didn’t understand how much his departure would destabilize the company. 

Musk’s decision to make Grok open source aligns with his requests in his lawsuit against OpenAI to advance open-source AGI for the “benefit of humanity.”

Like OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot, Grok is an AI chatbot developed by Musk’s company, xAI. Unlike ChatGPT, however, Grok can access real-time information via the X social media platform and answer more hot-button questions that some other AI systems reject.

To access the chatbot, users must have a verified X account. According to some comparisons, Grok AI, which is powered by the Grok-1 large language model, surpasses ChatGPT-3.5 but doesn’t perform as well as OpenAi’s ChatGPT-4 model.

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