Elon Musk Announces Grok, a ‘Rebellious’ AI Without Guardrails


Final week, Elon Musk flew to the UK to hype up the existential threat posed by synthetic intelligence. A few days later, he announced that his newest firm, xAI, had developed a robust AI—one with fewer guardrails than the competitors.

The AI mannequin, known as Grok (a reputation which means “to grasp” in tech circles), “is designed to reply questions with a little bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it when you hate humor!” reads an announcement on the corporate’s web site. “It is going to additionally reply spicy questions which might be rejected by most different AI techniques.”

The announcement doesn’t clarify what a “spicy” or “rebellious” means, however most industrial AI fashions will refuse to generate sexually specific, violent, or unlawful content material, and they’re designed to keep away from expressing biases picked up from their coaching information. With out such guardrails, the fear is that an AI mannequin may assist terrorists develop a bomb or may lead to merchandise that discriminate in opposition to customers based mostly on traits resembling race, gender, or age.

xAI doesn’t checklist any contact data on its web site, and emails despatched to frequent addresses bounced again. An electronic mail despatched to the press deal with for X acquired an automatic response studying, “Busy now, please verify again later.”

The xAI announcement says that Grok is constructed on high of a language mannequin known as Grok-1 that has 33 billion parameters. The corporate says it developed Grok in two months, a comparatively quick period of time by business requirements, and likewise claims {that a} basic benefit is its “real-time data of the world through the X platform,” or the platform previously often known as Twitter, which Musk acquired for $44 billion in 2022.

Stella Biderman, an AI researcher with EleutherAI, an open supply AI endeavor, says the claims made within the xAI announcement appear believable. Biderman means that Grok will use what’s often known as “retrieval augmented era” so as to add up-to-date data from X to its output. Different cutting-edge language fashions do that utilizing search engine outcomes and different data.

Giant language fashions have confirmed stunningly succesful over the previous 12 months or so, as highlighted most famously by OpenAI’s groundbreaking chatbot, ChatGPT.

These fashions feed on big quantities of textual content taken from books and the online, after which generate textual content in response to a immediate. They’re usually additionally given additional coaching by people to make them much less prone to produce offensive, impolite, or harmful outputs, and to make them extra prone to reply questions in ways in which appear coherent and plausibly right, though they’re nonetheless liable to producing errors and biases.

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