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All X Top subscribers to have access to Grok AI

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Elon Musk Buys Twitter
Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Billionaire owner of X, Elon Musk, has said that all Premium subscribers on the social media platform will have access to its AI chatbot, Grok this week.

X Premium is the company’s mid-tier subscription starting at $8 per month (on the web) or $84 per year. Before now, Grok was only available to Premium+ subscribers, at $16 per month or $168 per year.

This move follows Musk’s announcement earlier this month that xAI will open-source its Grok large language model. The billionaire, however, did not say when Grok would become available to all X users.

Announcing the development via a post on X, Elon Musk said:

“Later this week, Grok will be enabled for all premium subscribers (not just premium+)”

Offering access to an AI chatbot could potentially prevent X users from moving to other platforms like decentralized platforms Mastodon and Bluesky, or Instagram’s Threads, which rapidly gained traction thanks to Meta’s resources to reach over 130 million monthly users as of the fourth quarter 2023.

With recent data from Sensor Tower indicating that X usage in the U.S. was down 18% year-over-year as of February, and down 23% since Musk’s acquisition, the move may also be aimed at attracting more users to X.

The move could also signal an attempt to compete more directly with other popular chatbots, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Anthropic’s Claude.

Meanwhile, through his decision to open-source Musk is challenging OpenAI’s decision to make its ChatGPT a closed-source tool.

With Grok open-sourced, xAI joins the list of a number of growing firms, including Meta and French startup Mistral, that have published the codes of their chatbots to the public.

XAI released Grok last year, arming it with features including access to “real-time” information. The service is available to customers paying for X’s monthly subscription.

Earlier this month, Musk sued ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, saying they had abandoned the startup’s original mission to develop artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity and not for profit.

Musk helped co-found OpenAI as a counterweight to Google. But OpenAI, which was required to also make its technology “freely available” to the public, has become closed-source and shifted focus to maximizing profits for Microsoft, Musk alleged in the lawsuit filed late last month.

The lawsuit has also ignited a debate among many technologists and investors about the merits of open-source AI.

The lawsuit, filed in a court in San Francisco says that OpenAI, the world’s most valuable AI startup, has shifted to a for-profit model focused on commercializing its AGI research after partnering with Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company that has invested about $13 billion into the startup.

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