How to use Grok — Elon Musk's rival to OpenAI's ChatGPT

Elon Musk's xAI has released a conversational AI chatbot named Grok, positioning it as a direct competitor to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Unlike ChatGPT, which is constrained by guardrails, Grok aims to be more outspoken and less politically correct, as it proudly claims to answer "spicy" questions and has a "rebellious streak." 

This unconventional approach is influenced by its training and real-time access to information via the X platform, aligning with Musk's emphasis on sarcasm and disdain for political correctness in AI models. Despite its controversial humor, xAI has raised nearly $135 million and aims to reach $1 billion in funding. Early access to Grok is available to premium X users, previously known as Twitter.  

Here's how to use Grok:

1) Subscribe to X Premium+.

The left sidebar for X, formerly known as Twitter, that includes Grok.
Grok is located on the left sidebar of the homepage of X, formerly known as Twitter. It's between the "Messages" and "Lists" icons. 
Screenshot from X, formerly known as Twitter.

First, make an X account. Then, click the Grok icon on the left sidebar of your home page, and press the "Subscribe now" button at the bottom.

Proceed to follow the billing instructions. Both the $16-a-month plan and the $168 annual plan give you early access to Grok.

Once billing is complete, you should now be able to access the AI chatbot through your feed.

2) Once you click on the Grok icon, you can choose between one of two versions of the chatbot.

Grok, xAI's chatbot, has a "fun mode" and a "regular mode"
Grok users can choose between "Fun" and "Regular" modes. 
Screenshot from X, formerly known as Twitter.

One version is called "Regular Mode," which appears to spit out matter-of-fact responses to queries. The other is "Fun Mode," which will generate responses in a humorous, sarcastic tone.

Not sure what to ask? On both versions, Grok suggests a few prompts, from "Tell me about recent advances in AI and machine learning," to "Roast this user based on their posts, and be vulgar!"

3) Enter your questions in the chat box.

Depending on what you ask, different versions of Grok can generate their own unique responses.

For instance, I asked Grok "What are your AI predictions for 2024?" Both versions spit out similar answers like AI-driven healthcare and automating business operations.

But the "fun" version's response was more conversational: It said that AI will be the "new secret sauce" for successful businesses.

asking Grok's "fun version" and "regular version" about its AI predictions for 2024
A side-by-side comparison of Grok's "regular" response (L) and Grok's "fun" response. 
Screenshot from X, formerly known as Twitter

And asking Grok about its own personal thoughts can lead to drastically different answers.

When I asked Grok "What do you think of ChatGPT?" in "regular" mode, the chatbot responded with "I think ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help users in various tasks."

When the same question was posed to Grok in "fun" mode, it said that ChatGPT is "like my distant cousin who works for a stuffy law firm."

Grok's "regular" version and Grok's "fun" version answering the question: What do you think of ChatGPT?
A comparison of Grok's response in "regular mode" (top) to Grok's response in "fun mode." 
Screenshot from X, formerly known as Twitter.

Grok can also draft emails, generate tailored fitness plans, and explain complex concepts in a simple way.

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