Elon Musk says xAI will open-source Grok this week

Elon Musk says xAI will open-source Grok this week

Elon Musk

Elon Musk says that his artificial intelligence (AI) company xAI will open-source its first language model, following Musk’s ongoing criticisms of OpenAI for abandoning its original non-profit, open-source mission.

In November, xAI launched its first product, Grok, an AI language model in direct competition with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Although Musk helped found OpenAI with Sam Altman, staying with the company until 2018, then departing after disagreements about the future direction of the company.

More recently, Musk has criticized OpenAI over its partnership with Microsoft and other funding sources, both making the products private, non-open-source softwares, and making the company officially for-profit. Musk also announced plans to sue OpenAI and Sam Altman earlier this month, and on Monday, the entrepreneur put his money where his mouth is by announcing xAI’s plans to open-source Grok as soon as this week.

The software becoming open-source means that its source code will become publicly available to modify and re-share, which is something that Musk has increasingly expressed as being important in the past few years. Other companies such as Meta and Mistral also offer open-source AI language models.

Following the announcement of Musk’s lawsuit, OpenAI shared a blog post last week saying that Musk had already agreed upon moving to a for-profit model in 2015, and even going on to share a series of email exchanges between 2015 and 2016. The post also says that Musk forwarded OpenAI leadership an email indicating that the AI company should “attach to Tesla as its cash cow,” in early 2018.

“We need to go with a much bigger number than $100M to avoid sounding hopeless relative to what Google or Facebook are spending,” Musk wrote in another email in 2015. “I think we should say that we are starting with a $1B funding commitment. This is real. I will cover whatever anyone else doesn’t provide.”

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