Musk Fires Back at OpenAI, Vows to Open Source xAI's Grok Chatbot

Lily Polanco Follow Mar 11, 2024 · 2 mins read
Musk Fires Back at OpenAI, Vows to Open Source xAI's Grok Chatbot
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The AI battle is heating up as Elon Musk has promised to open source Grok, the advanced chatbot created by his startup xAI, sometime this week. The move comes just days after Musk sued OpenAI, the company he co-founded nearly a decade ago, accusing it of abandoning its principles of open source and benefiting all humanity.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, the billionaire entrepreneur slammed OpenAI for deviating from its original mission, claiming it has become “a closed-source de facto subsidiary of Microsoft.” He alleged OpenAI’s website continues to falsely profess ensuring artificial general intelligence (AGI) “benefits all of humanity.”

Musk has been a vocal proponent of open sourcing AI systems to prevent any single entity from controlling this powerful technology. His decision to open source Grok, xAI’s ChatGPT rival released last year, marks a shot across the bow at OpenAI and other closed AI players.

“Elon Musk’s AI startup xAI will open source Grok, its chatbot rivaling ChatGPT, this week,” stated an article from TechCrunch citing Musk’s statements. Grok has promoted itself as being unrestrained by “politically correct” norms and able to access real-time information unlike ChatGPT’s static training data.

By open sourcing Grok’s core models and codebases, Musk aims to offer a transparent alternative to OpenAI’s proprietary system. It could spark an open source AI movement reminiscent of Linux’s challenge to Microsoft’s Windows monopoly in the 90s.

The announcement has reignited heated debates around the merits and risks of open sourcing cutting-edge AI capabilities. Vinod Khosla, an early OpenAI investor, called Musk’s lawsuit a “massive distraction” that could undermine keeping AI safe amidst the “tech economic war with China.”

However, others like Marc Andreessen have pushed back, accusing Khosla of attempting to “ban open source” AI research out of purported national security concerns. The Andreessen Horowitz co-founder argued open models help advance transformative technologies that better humanity.

Musk seemed to double down on his stance Monday, tweeting “OpenAI is a lie” while quote-tweeting an article on the impending Grok open sourcing. He has long advocated for open sourcing disruptive innovations, including at his companies Tesla and the recently rebranded X (formerly Twitter).

The move presents both opportunities and risks. Open sourcing could democratize access to powerful AI models, fostering wider innovation. However, it also raises flags around potential misuse by bad actors and exacerbating the challenges of mitigating AI biases and harm.

Regardless of where one stands in the debate, Musk’s latest salvo ensures the battle over the soul of AI will only intensify. As AGI inches closer to reality, the push for transparency and ethical deployment seems destined to clash with corporate and geopolitical interests seeking control.

Grok’s open sourcing could catalyze a new wave of open AI development and diverse derivative models. Alternatively, it may amount to a Pandora’s box unleashing a new breed of unsafe AI applications. One thing is certain - the AI landscape is becoming increasingly contentious as the technology’s awesome potential and risks come into sharper focus.

Written by Lily Polanco Follow
Junior News Writer @