Musk makes xAI’s Grok open source in latest dig at OpenAI

Elon Musk announced Monday that his artificial intelligence venture, xAI, plans to make its ChatGPT competitor Grok available as open-source software later this week.

The bold move comes just days after Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing the Sam Altman-run tech firm of abandoning its original nonprofit mission in favor of a money-making model.

The lawsuit specifically targeted the Microsoft-backed OpenAI, a company Musk co-founded with Altman in 2015, but left in 2018.

OpenAI responded to the lawsuit by airing out some old emails in which Musk seemed to be all about a for-profit setup – even floating the idea of merging with Tesla to become a “cash cow.”

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO and founder has slammed tech giants like Google for putting profits over AI safety.

"This week, @xAI will open source Grok," Musk said in a post on his own social media platform, X.

Meantime, debates around the implications of open-sourcing AI have intensified since Musk’s filing, drawing attention from major tech investors, such as OpenAI backer Vinod Khosla and Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

While open-sourcing technology fosters innovation, concerns have been raised regarding potential misuse, including by terrorists to create chemical weapons or the emergence of uncontrollable super-intelligent systems.

Last year, at Britain's AI Safety Summit Musk had advocated for the establishment of a neutral oversight body to monitor AI development and raise red flags if necessary.

The idea behind open source large AI models is to provide the public access to the underlying technology, which would also align xAI with other firms such as Meta and Mistral in France.

Google has also jumped on the bandwagon with the release of its AI model Gemma, which also has the ability for external developers to customize the chatbot according to their needs.

In his quest for alternatives to OpenAI and Google, Musk launched xAI last year, aiming to develop "maximum truth-seeking AI.”

Musk released his rival Grok described as a "conversational AI for understanding the universe" in December for Premium+ subscribers on X.