Elon Musk’s artificial-intelligence start-up has launched a chatbot to compete with ChatGPT. It shouldn’t be a concern for
which looks to still have a healthy lead in the AI race.
Musk’s xAI announced its chatbot Grok, on Saturday. It will be made available to premium subscribers of the X social-media platform, formerly known as Twitter, after a period of testing with a limited number of users.
Grok is a relatively late entrant to the chatbot race. ChatGPT—developed by
(ticker: MSFT) investee OpenAI—launched almost a year ago, triggering a frenzy around AI and powering a technology-stock rally.
The announcement from xAI conceded that the AI model underpinning Grok wasn’t as powerful as models trained with more data and computing power such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, which was launched in March this year. Musk’s xAI only launched in July, adding it to the billionaire businessman’s slate of companies alongside
(TSLA), SpaceX, and X.
However, Musk thinks that xAI’s Grok has a couple of secret weapons. The first is that it might be less bland and more willing to provide certain answers than other chatbots.
“Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak…It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems,” xAI said in its announcement.
There could also be some advantages in Grok’s access to real-time information from the X platform. However, OpenAI said in September that ChatGPT can also browse the internet for current information.
More important for investors, the chatbot race is increasingly a sideshow to the real AI competition, which is in providing businesses with access to AI infrastructure and services. Microsoft already looks to be winning there, with recent earnings suggesting it is pulling away from Google-parent
(GOOGL) in terms of demand for AI in its cloud-computing business.
Microsoft shares were up 0.2% in premarket trading on Monday. The company recently started charging for its AI-assistance Copilot 365 software, which is set to be a major test for whether Big Tech can monetize its investment in AI technology.
“The Microsoft ecosystem of customers may be on the precipice of unlocking substantial white collar productivity gains,” wrote Macquarie analyst Frederick Havemeyer in a research note.
A funny chatbot is one thing but AI is a serious business now.
Write to Adam Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org
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