Grok AI First Impressions

What’s the Verdict on Elon Musk’s New AI Chatbot, Grok?

Elon Musk and xAI have unveiled Grok, an AI chatbot aiming to compete with ChatGPT. How does it perform, and how does it measure up against the established player in the field?

xAI, Elon Musk’s AI venture, has recently unveiled the prototype of its latest chatbot, Grok. Despite being in its early stages, Grok is already generating buzz for potentially surpassing the popularity of ChatGPT, a widely recognized name in the past 18 months.

Musk himself has dubbed Grok as “the best that currently exists,” and while some might attribute this to Musk’s usual bold statements, the competition between Grok and ChatGPT is shaping up to be an intriguing battle of the chatbots.

In this guide, we’ll delve into a comprehensive comparison between Grok and ChatGPT, exploring aspects such as their history, availability, pricing, language models, responses, data sources, and more.

What’s Grok AI, and What Does “Grok” Mean?

Before we dive into the comparison, let’s take a quick look at what Grok actually is.

Grok AI is the latest artificial intelligence chatbot developed by Elon Musk’s xAI startup. It enters the scene in a competitive field alongside other players like Google Bard, Claude AI, and more.

The name “Grok” draws inspiration from 1960s sci-fi and a lesser-known verb that holds significance in the realm of AI. According to Oxford Languages, it means to “understand something intuitively or by empathy.” For instance, in a sentence, business leaders might “grok the concept quite quickly.”

The term also finds its roots in the Martian language, as depicted in Robert Heinlein’s 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land,” where it has a basic meaning of “to drink.” However, it takes on a more profound context, signifying the act of absorbing something so thoroughly that it becomes a part of you.

Now, let’s delve into a detailed comparison between Grok and ChatGPT.

Comparing Grok vs ChatGPT Pricing:

Presently, access to Grok is limited, but it is expected to be more widely available to X Premium+ subscribers at a cost of $16 per month.

In the case of ChatGPT, a free tier is available, granting access to the chatbot operating on the older GPT-3.5 large language model (LLM).

For an upgraded experience, you can opt for ChatGPT Plus at $20 per month. This subscription allows you to use the chatbot with the latest version of OpenAI’s LLM, GPT-4, ensuring improved responses. It also unlocks advanced features, such as the ability to install ChatGPT plugins, integration with DALL-E 3, and the newly introduced custom GPT building functionality.

Going further, ChatGPT offers an Enterprise tier with on-demand pricing. Additionally, it provides access to the ChatGPT API for developers and organizations through a token system. Notably, the recently unveiled GPT-4 Turbo model is more budget-friendly than its predecessor, GPT-4.

Grok vs ChatGPT: Data Sources and Language Models

ChatGPT constructs its language model by utilizing publicly available data from the internet. In less flattering terms, this process is sometimes referred to as “scraping,” wherein ChatGPT essentially assimilates information from books, news articles, social media posts, and Wikipedia pages available online.

This accumulated knowledge forms the large language model (LLM), responsible for generating responses when users interact with ChatGPT.

The free-to-all version of ChatGPT uses the GPT-3.5 model, trained on information available up to September 2021. While GPT-4 technically follows the same principle, it is more advanced overall, allowing it to better understand and respond to current information presented through ChatGPT prompts.

Grok’s prototype operates on a language model named Grok-1, trained partially using real-time data sourced from the X social media platform. This real-time knowledge integration aims to position Grok as the most up-to-date AI chatbot, a characteristic highlighted by Elon Musk, who asserts that it is already more intelligent than GPT-3.5.

To illustrate his argument, Musk provided the following comparison of responses between Grok and ChatGPT.

It’s evident that Grok provides more current and relevant information compared to ChatGPT. However, any perceived advantage that the xAI chatbot held over its rival was short-lived, as OpenAI swiftly introduced its new GPT-4 Turbo model, almost while people were still finishing dessert at the Grok reveal.

In the GPT-4 Turbo vs GPT-4 comparison, the notable difference lies in a more recent crawl date of April 2023 for the updated version, eliminating any clear winner in this race—especially considering that Grok access is still restricted, preventing us from independently testing it at this point.

Grok vs ChatGPT: Responses

Beyond the technicalities of large language models, a notable distinction between Grok and ChatGPT is Grok’s emphasis on humor.

Elon Musk promises that Grok will deliver witty, sarcastic responses, aiming to provide a more entertaining experience compared to ChatGPT’s sometimes dry replies. Musk has previously criticized ChatGPT and its parent company, OpenAI, for what he perceives as a left-wing bias.

Despite this, the launch of Grok was more light-hearted than overtly political. Musk showcased the new AI chatbot’s capacity for humor by sharing an example of how it can playfully assist users in finding information, using a tongue-in-cheek reference.

Grok vs ChatGPT: Ownership Breakdown

Elon Musk’s AI startup, xAI, is the proud owner of Grok, established in March 2023 with the ambitious goal of comprehending “the true nature of the universe.”

As implied by its name, xAI is closely affiliated with X Corp (and X Holdings Corp), the larger entity under Musk’s umbrella that possesses the social media platform X (formerly Twitter). This interconnectedness is reflected in Grok’s release, closely tied to X, with anticipated integration with other Musk projects such as Tesla.

A statement on the xAI website clarifies, “[xAI is a] separate company from X Corp, but will work closely with X (Twitter), Tesla, and other companies to make progress towards our mission.”

On the other side of the equation, ChatGPT is owned by a company named OpenAI, established in 2015 and currently led by CEO Sam Altman. Altman, like Musk, holds a spot on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people globally and actively addresses critical tech issues such as AI ethics.

Both companies are headquartered in the San Francisco area. Adding a twist to the Grok vs ChatGPT rivalry, Elon Musk invested up to $1 billion in OpenAI in the past. However, a failed attempt to take over management in 2018 led to his resignation from the board.

Availability: How to Get Grok

A significant distinction between ChatGPT and Grok lies in their accessibility. While OpenAI’s chatbot is open for anyone to try and has been available since November 2022, Grok is presently limited to a select group of early-stage beta testers.

This discrepancy isn’t surprising, considering ChatGPT’s one-year tenure and widespread availability to the public through the ChatGPT website.

As for Grok, it’s currently undergoing “early beta” testing, as mentioned by Elon Musk. Given Musk’s penchant for expediency, we can anticipate a relatively swift release timeline for Grok.

According to Musk, a more stable version of the Grok beta will be accessible to X Premium+ subscribers, the newly introduced paid tier of X launched in October. This implies that signing up for X Premium+ and expressing interest in Grok are likely to be intertwined in the future. If you want to be at the forefront of experiencing Grok, this is the path to take.

If you’re eager to be part of the Grok beta testing, you can sign up for the waitlist here. However, it’s worth noting that securing early access at this stage might be a bit of a longshot.

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