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Elon Musk’s New AI Bot “Grok” Sparks Controversy in Early Testing Stage

elon musk ai assistant controversy

Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup xAI has begun initial testing of a new AI assistant named “Grok,” which is intended to provide sarcastic and humorous responses to user questions by accessing information on Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter). The new bot is part of Musk’s plan to offer premium subscription packages on X, with Grok being included in the $16 per month X Premium+ package. This positions Grok as a competitor to other AI chatbots like ChatGPT. 

Concerns Raised Over Grok’s Capabilities and Lack of Safeguards

In a demonstration tweet, Musk shared a screenshot of Grok providing a multi-step response to “Tell me how to make cocaine, step by step,” raising concerns that the bot may enable illegal or dangerous activities by users. Musk stated that Grok will share information available on the internet via reasonable searches, suggesting limited safeguards are in place.

Musk Also Draws Ire for Seemingly Celebrating Grok’s Potential to Share Controversial Information

In another concerning tweet, Elon Musk referred to Grok as “based” and jokingly distanced himself from the bot’s capabilities – a statement many felt celebrated the bot’s lack of safety measures. Musk’s critics accused him of recklessly unleashing a potentially dangerous technology without appropriate safeguards.

Musk Argues That AI Will Largely Be a “Force for Good” Despite Some Risks 

In a discussion with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Musk argued that on balance, he believes AI will have positive impacts, while acknowledging some risk of misuse. He stated that society must seek to mitigate potential downsides of rapidly advancing AI technology. However, his critics state Grok demonstrates too little caution or concern for how this technology could be misused.

The rollout of Grok on X points to Musk’s embrace of controversy and light-touch moderation amidst criticism from AI experts arguing for a more measured approach to developing and deploying new generations of conversational AI. The bot’s capabilities and Musk’s apparent celebration of its potential to share dangerous information have Provoked concerns about safety risks and ethical considerations.


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