1 min read

Elon Musk makes xAI’s Grok chatbot open-source, continuing criticism of OpenAI

Elon Musk announced on Monday that his artificial intelligence startup, xAI, would be making its ChatGPT challenger, “Grok,” open-source later in the week. This decision comes shortly after Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing them of deviating from their original mission in favor of a for-profit model.

Musk, who has consistently cautioned against the commercialization of technology by major tech companies like Google, initiated legal action against OpenAI, a company he co-founded in 2015 but left in 2018. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month, prompting OpenAI to release emails suggesting that Musk himself supported the idea of creating a for-profit entity and even proposed a merger with Tesla to capitalize on the combined company’s financial potential.


In a post on X, the social media platform owned by Musk, he announced the upcoming open-sourcing of Grok by xAI. This move is significant as it will provide the public with free access to experiment with the underlying code of the technology. It also brings xAI in line with other companies like Meta and Mistral from France, which have already open-sourced their AI models. Google has also joined this trend by releasing its AI model, Gemma, allowing developers outside the company to customize it for their specific needs.

The decision to open-source Grok has sparked debates among tech investors, including prominent figures like Vinod Khosla and Marc Andreessen. While some argue that open-sourcing AI technology can accelerate innovation, others caution about the potential misuse of open-source AI models by malicious actors, such as terrorists seeking to develop dangerous weapons or even creating a super-intelligent AI beyond human control.

Musk has been vocal about the need for oversight in AI development and has advocated for the establishment of a “third-party referee” to monitor AI firms and raise concerns if necessary. This sentiment was echoed by Musk during Britain’s AI Safety Summit last year.

With the launch of xAI last year, Musk aimed to offer an alternative to platforms like OpenAI and Google. He envisioned xAI as a platform for creating what he called a “maximum truth-seeking AI.” Grok was introduced in December, initially available to Premium+ subscribers of X.

In a podcast conversation with computer scientist Lex Fridman in November, Musk expressed his preference for open-source AI. He criticized OpenAI’s transition from a nonprofit open-source organization to a closed-source model focused on profit, contrasting it with the original ethos of the company’s name, “open AI.”

Overall, Musk’s decision to open-source Grok reflects his commitment to fostering transparency and collaboration in AI development, while also challenging the dominant models adopted by tech giants like OpenAI and Google.

Leave a Reply