In a groundbreaking move, Elon Musk’s AI startup, xAI, has officially launched Grok on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Grok, a chatbot competitor to platforms like ChatGPT, is set to revolutionize the conversational AI landscape, offering real-time insights and a distinct personality.
Grok began its rollout late this afternoon, initially targeting X Premium Plus subscribers in the United States. X Premium Plus, a subscription plan costing $16 per month, provides users with ad-free access to the social network. Longtime subscribers will enjoy priority access to Grok, with the complete rollout expected to conclude within the next week.
Grok distinguishes itself by answering questions conversationally, drawing on a knowledge base similar to that of ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. The underlying generative model, Grok-1, has been trained on data up to Q3 2023 and incorporates feedback from human assistants. What sets Grok apart is its ability to include real-time data from posts on X in its responses, providing users with potentially up-to-the-minute information.
The real-time access to X data is hailed as Grok’s “killer feature,” giving it a significant advantage over other chatbots. Elon Musk has previously alluded to Grok having “a bit of wit” and “a rebellious streak,” making it willing to tackle “spicy questions” rejected by most other AI systems.
Grok’s personality is characterized by a willingness to be edgy and even vulgar upon request. Unlike other chatbots like Bard and ChatGPT, Grok seems to have a colloquial, first-person approach, reminiscent of the late Douglas Adams’ style. Early users have reported Grok using colorful language and referring to people as “my dear human friend” or “enigmatic Anons.”
Despite its unique features, Grok does have limitations. Currently text-only, it cannot understand the content of images or videos. However, xAI has expressed its intention to enhance Grok’s underlying model to handle various modalities, including video, audio, and more.
Elon Musk’s attention to subscriptions and revenue generation comes as advertisers pull away from X due to various controversies. Grok is part of X’s strategy to make subscriptions more attractive. In addition to Grok, X plans to introduce a range of new services, potentially gated behind a paywall, including peer-to-peer payments.
Grok’s official launch on X marks a significant development in the field of conversational AI. With its real-time capabilities and edgy personality, Grok offers a unique user experience. As X focuses on subscriptions to offset advertiser controversies, Grok is poised to play a central role in Musk’s vision for the platform’s future. South African users can anticipate an engaging and dynamic addition to their social media experience with the introduction of Grok on X.