April 15, 2024

Elon Musk on Sunday shared the computer code powering his new AI company’s chatbot named Grok, the latest move in his ongoing rivalry with OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman. Musk’s company xAI made Grok-1 an open-source AI model with a release on its website Sunday. “We are releasing the weights and architecture of our 314 billion parameter Mixture-of-Experts model, Grok-1,” the company said.

Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO who also owns the social media site X and was a founder of OpenAI, had previewed the release in a brief one-sentence post on social media. “This week @xAI will open source Grok,” Musk wrote last Monday on X .

Musk late last month sued OpenAI and Altman, alleging that the ChatGPT maker’s multi-year, multi-billion dollar partnership with Microsoft betrays its founding commitment to benefiting humanity over profit. The lawsuit claims a breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices. The billionaire also asked that OpenAI be ordered to open its research and technology to the public.

“OpenAI, Inc. has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft,” Musk’s lawsuit says. “Under its new board, it is not just developing but is actually refining an [artificial general intelligence] to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity.”

Last July, Musk announced his own AI company, xAI. And in November, he said on X that it would release its first AI product “to a select group.” While xAI is independent from X, the Musk-owned social media site formerly known as Twitter, the company’s website says it will work closely with X and Musk’s EV maker Tesla.

OpenAI, which Musk co-founded with Altman in 2015 before leaving, responded to Musk’s lawsuit earlier this month with a blog post that included screenshots of emails from Musk during his time at the company. They showed he supported making OpenAI a for-profit company and pushed for it to merge with Tesla to compete with Google’s AI efforts. OpenAI said in its response that Musk wanted to start with a $1 billion funding commitment “to avoid sounding hopeless,” after Altman and their other co-founder Greg Brockman initially planned to raise $100 million.

“Elon left OpenAI, saying there needed to be a relevant competitor to Google/DeepMind and that he was going to do it himself,” OpenAI said in the blog post. “He said he’d be supportive of us finding our own path.”

-Britney Nguyen contributed to this article.

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