Did Elon Musk use OpenAI code to train Grok chatbot? Employee says, ‘accidentally picked up some…’

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Elon Musk’s xAI is embroiled in yet another controversy, with some users suggesting that the company’s generative AI-based chatbot – Grok – may have been trained on OpenAI code. The matter is made more serious by the history between OpenAI, Sam Altman and Musk. The 52-year-old billionaire was a co-founder of OpenAI, but left the company after his appeal to take over the reins of the AI startup was rejected by other co-founders, including current CEO Sam Altman, according to a previous report by Semafor.

In the latest controversy, however, Grok AI refused to answer a user’s query, citing OpenAI’s use case policy, similar to how ChatGPT would have responded. The user, Jax Winterbourne, claimed that xAI may be using the OpenAI codebase to train the Grok chatbot.

An X (formerly Twitter) affiliated with xAI going by the name Igor Babuschkin replied the reason behind Grok’s egregious error, noting that the internet is full of ChatGPT outputs and AI startup accidentally picked up some of those while training Grok.

Babuschkin wrote, “The issue here is that the web is full of ChatGPT outputs, so we accidentally picked up some of them when we trained Grok on a large amount of web data. This was a huge surprise to us when we first noticed it. For what it’s worth, the issue is very rare and now that we’re aware of it we’ll make sure that future versions of Grok don’t have this problem. Don’t worry, no OpenAI code was used to make Grok.”

Notably, Grok AI had started rolling out to X Premium Plus subscribers in the US on Saturday. While updating about the Grok announcement, X wrote, “ok buckle up everyone access to @grok is now rolling out to Premium subscribers in the US over the next week. the longer you’ve been a subscriber, the sooner you can grok. you can find Grok in the side menu on web, iOS, and Android (app must be up to date). on iOS & Android, you can add it to your bottom menu for easy access. don’t forget your towel!”

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.