Elon Musk takes another swing at OpenAI, makes xAI’s Grok chatbot open-source

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Elon Musk said on Monday his artificial intelligence startup xAI would open-source its ChatGPT challenger “Grok” this week, days after he sued OpenAI for abandoning its original mission in favour of a for-profit model.

The billionaire has warned on several occasions against the use of technology for profit by big technology companies such as Google.

He filed the lawsuit against Microsoft-backed OpenAI, which he co-founded in 2015 but left three years later, earlier this month. In response, OpenAI publicized emails that showed the Tesla CEO supported a plan to create a for-profit entity and wanted a merger with the EV maker to make the combined company a “cash cow.”

“This week, @xAI will open-source Grok,” Musk said in a post on X, the social media firm he owns.

The move could give the public free access to experiment with the code behind the technology and align xAI with firms such as Meta and France’s Mistral, both of which have open-source AI models.

Google has also released an AI model called Gemma that outside developers can potentially fashion according to their needs.

Tech investors, including OpenAI backer Vinod Khosla and Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, have been debating open-sourcing in AI since Musk filed the lawsuit against the ChatGPT maker.

While open-sourcing technology can help speed up innovations, some experts have warned that open-source AI models could be used by terrorists to create chemical weapons or even develop a conscious super-intelligence beyond human control.

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