In Latest A.I. War Escalation, Elon Musk Releases Chatbot Code

Elon Musk released the raw computer code behind his version of an artificial intelligence chatbot on Sunday, an escalation by one of the world’s richest men in a battle to control the future of A.I.

Grok, which is designed to give snarky replies styled after the science-fiction novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” is a product from xAI, the company Mr. Musk founded last year. While xAI is an independent entity from X, its technology has been integrated into the social media platform and is trained on users’ posts. Users who subscribe to X’s premium features can ask Grok questions and receive responses.

By opening the code up for everyone to view and use — known as open sourcing — Mr. Musk waded further into a heated debate in the A.I. world over whether doing so could help make the technology safer, or simply open it up to misuse.

Mr. Musk, a self-proclaimed proponent of open sourcing, did the same with X’s recommendation algorithm last year, but he has not updated it since.

“Still work to do, but this platform is already by far the most transparent & truth-seeking (not a high bar tbh),” Mr. Musk posted on Sunday in response to a comment on open sourcing X’s recommendation algorithm.

The move to open-source chatbot code is the latest volley between Mr. Musk and ChatGPT’s creator, OpenAI, which the mercurial billionaire sued recently over breaking its promise to do the same. Mr. Musk, who was a founder and helped fund OpenAI before departing several years later, has argued such an important technology should not be controlled solely by tech giants like Google and Microsoft, which is a close partner of OpenAI.

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