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xAI Previews Coming Image Queries in its Grok Chatbot

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xAI, the AI arm of X Corp, has previewed the next stage of its Grok AI model, with the upcoming Grok 1.5 able to incorporate multimodal inputs within its queries.

That means that you’ll soon be able to pose questions like this:

Grok 1.5

I mean, given Tesla’s access to vehicle inputs, you’d expect that xAI would have a big advantage on this particular front, though the new Grok will also be able to facilitate a range of visual queries.

Like creating a story from a child’s drawing:

Grok 1.5

Or this one, which is probably much closer to Elon’s heart:

Grok 1.5

As a side note, what might be truly valuable with this functionality is to be able to see how often any given user has posed this query. Might clear up some angst in exchanges.

As explained by xAI:

Grok-1.5V is competitive with existing frontier multimodal models in a number of domains, ranging from multi-disciplinary reasoning to understanding documents, science diagrams, charts, screenshots, and photographs. We are particularly excited about Grok’s capabilities in understanding our physical world.”

Indeed, according to xAI, Grok “outperforms its peers in our new RealWorldQA benchmark, which measures real-world spatial understanding”.

Both OpenAI and Meta also now have multimodal functionality built into their latest GPT and Llama models, so xAI isn’t breaking new ground with this capacity. But as per xAI, Grok 1.5 should, at least theoretically, provide more accurate responses to visual cues, based on its testing.

Will that get more people using Elon’s ChatGPT alternative?

After investing millions on hardware to power its AI project, X is now very keen to capitalize on that investment, which is at least part of the reason why X is now giving away access to X Premium to users with a lot of followers, effectively granting many more people access to its Grok chatbot interface.

Thus far, usage of Grok has been limited, because up until late last month, Grok had only been available to those paying for X’s highest-priced “Premium+” subscription tier, at $16 per month. Which very few people are paying for, which is why X has now made Grok available to all Premium subscribers, while it’s also pushing more incentives to get people to sign up to its subscription packages.

It seems that X is hoping that more people being able to use Grok will help to raise interest in the tool.

But I don’t know, I don’t see there being a lot of demand for AI chatbots, outside of ChatGPT.

In some ways, ChatGPT has become so synonymous with the use of the latest wave of AI, that every other challenger is already facing an uphill battle, even those being built into high-usage apps like X and Meta’s suite.

Will X users really start using Grok to ask questions? Will Grok’s answers be reliable, given that it’s based on X inputs?

Thus far, the evidence we have on both fronts is not promising, but if Elon and Co. want to actually make money from X, they need to be recouping their investments.  

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