xAI open sources Grok – The Verge


On March 11th, Elon Musk said xAI would open source its AI chatbot Grok, and now an open release is available on GitHub. This will allow researchers and developers to build on the model and impact how xAI updates Grok in the future as it competes with rival tech from OpenAI, Meta, Google, and others.

A company blog post explains that this open release includes the “base model weights and network architecture” of the “314 billion parameter Mixture-of-Experts model, Grok-1.” It continues saying the model is from a checkpoint last October and hasn’t undergone fine-tuning “for any specific application, such as dialogue.”

As VentureBeat notes, it’s being released under the Apache 2.0 license that enables commercial use but doesn’t include the data used to train it or connections to X for real-time data. xAI said in a November 2023 post that the LLM Grok was “developed over the last four months” and is targeted for uses around coding generation, creative writing, and answering questions. 

After Musk bought Twitter (now X), the code behind its algorithms was eventually released, and Musk has openly criticized companies that don’t open-source their AI model. That includes OpenAI, which he helped found but is now suing, alleging the company breached an original founding agreement that it would be open source. 

Companies have released open-source or limited open-source models to get feedback from other researchers on how to improve them. While there are many fully open-source AI foundation models like Mistral and Falcon, the most widely used models are either closed-sourced or offer a limited open license. Meta’s Llama 2, for example, gives its research away for free but makes customers with 700 million daily users pay a fee and won’t let developers iterate on top of Llama 2. 


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