Elon Musk Unveils Chatbot Code in AI Escalation

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On March 17, Elon Musk released the raw computer code for his AI chatbot, marking a significant move in the race to shape the future of AI.

Grok, created to deliver witty responses reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, is a creation of xAI, a company established by Musk in the previous year. Though xAI operates independently from X, formerly Twitter, its technology has been incorporated into the social media platform and is trained on users’ posts. Those subscribed to X’s premium features can interact with Grok, posing questions and receiving replies.

By making the code available for public viewing and use, a practice known as open-sourcing, Musk immersed himself in the contentious AI debate. This move sparks discussions on whether such transparency could enhance the safety of the technology or merely expose it to potential misuse.

Musk, an advocate for open sourcing, took a similar approach with X’s recommendation algorithm last year; however, there have been no updates since.

On March 17, Musk responded to a comment regarding the open-sourcing of X’s recommendation algorithm, stating, that while there was still work to be done, this platform was already the most transparent and truth-seeking by a significant margin.

The decision to open-source the chatbot code represents the newest development in the ongoing exchange between Musk and OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. Musk, who recently filed a lawsuit against the organization for failing to fulfill its commitment to open-source similar technology, has emphasized the necessity of ensuring that crucial technologies are not monopolized by major tech companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Notably, Musk was one of the founders and financial backers of OpenAI before parting ways several years ago.

OpenAI has announced its intention to seek dismissal of the lawsuit.

The debate surrounding the open-sourcing of generative AI, capable of producing lifelike images, videos, and human-like text responses, has stirred controversy in the tech sphere over the past year. With the surge in popularity of this technology, Silicon Valley finds itself divided on whether AI coding should be publicly accessible.

While some argue for safeguarding the potent technology from misuse, others advocate for transparency, citing its benefits. By releasing his AI code, Musk firmly aligns himself with the latter stance, potentially gaining a competitive edge over rivals. This move allows companies and developers to adapt and utilize the code for their own AI projects, mirroring similar actions by Meta, Google, and Mistral.

In 2023, Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind companies like X, SpaceX, and Tesla, founded xAI to comprehend reality. He revealed that investors in his $44 billion take-private deal for X would hold a 25% interest in xAI. Musk has emphasized that chatbots should be able to tackle any subject, criticizing companies that tailor their technology to avoid contentious issues as “woke.”

In a post Musk stated that if an AI was programmed to prioritize diversity at any expense, like Google Gemini was, then it would pursue that objective relentlessly, possibly resulting in fatalities.

Open-sourcing decisions are often influenced by business motives. OpenAI, the leading provider of powerful chatbots, has little incentive to share its code due to its market dominance. Conversely, Musk’s xAI seeks to level the playing field by open-sourcing its code, aiming to improve technology collectively.

According to Subbarao Kambhampati, a computer science professor at Arizona State University, open-sourcing current AI technology is the safest approach, though companies like xAI and Meta may have different motivations.

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