Elon Musk
Elon Musk has responded to controversy surrounding his company xAI's first generative AI model, Grok. Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk-led artificial intelligence (AI) company xAI has been catching flak for allegedly using OpenAI's codebase to train its first-ever AI-powered bot called Grok.

To those unaware, xAI announced Grok ahead of OpenAI's first developer conference. It is also worth noting that Musk was a co-founder of OpenAI.

The 52-year-old billionaire stepped down from OpenAI's board of directors when Sam Altman and other co-founders rejected his appeal to take over the reins of the AI company, according to a report by Semafor.

The recently surfaced controversy suggests Grok AI refused to answer user Jax Winterbourne's query citing OpenAI's use case policy. Notably, this is similar to how OpenAI's AI bot, ChatGPT, would have responded.

So, Winterbourne accused xAI of using the OpenAI codebase to train Grok AI. Igor Babuschkin, who is an X (formerly Twitter) user affiliated with xAI shed some light on Grok's shocking error.

xAI addresses the controversy surrounding Grok's response

"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," Babuschkin explained.

Apparently, this was a big surprise for the folks at xAI as well. Babuschkin also noted that the issue is "very rare" and now that xAI is aware of it, the company will ensure that the next generations of Grok AI do not have this problem.

"Don't worry, no OpenAI code was used to make Grok," he added. Taking to the comments section of this post, ChatGPT replied: "We have a lot in common".

Musk clapped back at the post saying, "Well, son, since you scraped all the data from this platform for your training you ought to know". xAI recently started rolling out Grok AI to X Premium Plus subscribers in the US.

In a post, the company announced, "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!"

Last month, xAI said in a blog post that Grok is an AI modelled after the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In other words, the AI bot is designed to answer almost anything.

Moreover, xAI urged people who hate humour to avoid using Grok, noting that the AI bot is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak. Meanwhile, xAI is aiming to secure $1 billion (£0.8 billion) in equity financing.