Musk to open access to Grok to all X Premium users later this week

Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of xAI, is shaking things up in the world of AI chatbots. And at a time when there is a growing rivalry between Musk and his former company, OpenAI, the tech magnate announced that Grok, xAI’s chatbot, will be available to all X premium users later this week.

Previously, access to Grok was restricted to users subscribed to X’s Premium+ tier, a more expensive membership option. This limited the chatbot’s reach and user base. By extending access to all X Premium subscribers, Musk is effectively making Grok available to a much larger audience. The standard X Premium subscription comes in at nearly half the price of Premium+, making Grok a more enticing perk for existing users and a potential draw for new subscribers.

Grok’s rollout to all premium users of X could also boost the platform’s subscriber base, as well as improve the financial health of the social media company. Reports already indicate a decline in X’s user base and a shift in advertiser spending away from the platform. By offering a more attractive perk with Grok, Musk might be hoping to entice new subscribers, as well as incentivize existing ones to remain on board (in fact, data from Sensor Tower indicates a decline in X usage, with a 23% decrease since Musk assumed control of the micro-blogging site in 2022).

For those who need a reminder about Grok, it was launched last November, and was slated to be xAI’s answer to popular chatbots like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard). Unlike its competitors that prioritize factual accuracy and neutrality, Grok is designed with a touch of whimsy and a rebellious streak, inspired by the science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This means Grok might provide answers with a bit of humor or challenge conventional wisdom in its responses.

This development also unfolds against the backdrop of a tense relationship between Musk and OpenAI, the same AI research lab he co-founded and which rolled out the popular ChatGPT in 2022. Musk recently filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing them of abandoning their initial mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity in favor of a profit-driven approach. Grok’s wider availability and its open-source nature can be seen as a direct challenge to OpenAI’s offering, ChatGPT.

Following the lawsuit against OpenAI, xAI announced its decision to make Grok open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. Open-sourcing Grok allows for public access to the underlying code, fostering experimentation and development in the field of AI chatbots. Whether Grok will eventually be available to all X users, similar to how everyone can access ChatGPT version 3.5, remains unclear.

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