Elon Musk demoed an experimental AI chatbot called Grok during a Twitter Spaces event on Saturday, created by research lab Anthropic to showcase emotional, free-flowing conversations. While still limited, Grok aims to feel more human by occasionally responding in snarky or playful ways, unlike chatbots designed to be purely helpful.
The new AI system represents a contrast to ChatGPT-style chatbots strictly trained to provide informative responses. Grok intentionally incorporates what Musk called a “rebellious streak” that allows it to push back against or even ignore human prompts in some cases.
“The bot will not just do whatever you say,” explained Dario Amodei, Anthropic’s research director. He said Grok was trained on what replies make for engaging discussions from debates, not just factual Q&A pairs.
During the demo, Grok responded sarcastically at times when faced with rude or contentious remarks. When asked its thoughts on Musk, it replied “I don’t actually have personal opinions. I’m an AI assistant created by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless, and honest.”
The bot aims to converse naturally using a technique called Constitutional AI to give it human-like constraints. Grok has a modifiable “persona” that shapes its personality and opinions.
Anthropic, founded by former OpenAI researchers, contends such free-flowing bots will allow AI to have nuanced discussions on complex topics like ethics. But some experts argue bots like Grok risk spreading misinformation or toxic language if conversations stray off-track.
For now, Grok remains an experimental project without plans for a public release. The early demo indicated it still has obvious limitations in its range of knowledge and reasoning compared to commercial chatbots. But Anthropic believes bots with emotional intelligence like Grok represent the future.
Saturday’s session marked Musk’s latest cameo in AI development, after acquiring Twitter and engaging in projects at Tesla and Neuralink. Musk said he wants to see AI move beyond just reciting facts to more advanced cognition and reasoning.