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Grok AI vs ChatGPT – here’s how they compare

OpenAI and xAI chatbots compared

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on March 28, 2024
Comparison or showdown between ChatGPT and Grok AI logos, depicted with a 'versus' symbol in the middle.
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ChatGPT, the world’s favorite Artificial Intelligence chatbot, has a new rival. After just two months of training, xAI launched Grok AI on the 4th of November, 2023. However, ChatGPT-4 and Grok-1 aren’t the only rivals in the ring, with xAI CEO Elon Musk and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman both ex-colleagues as board members of OpenAI in 2015. Grok AI is powered by a Grok-1 large model while ChatGPT uses a GPT 3.5 architecture. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences between Grok AI vs ChatGPT and compare the two chatbot features. Let’s find out which AI chatbot is better.

Quick answer

Deciding between Grok AI and ChatGPT is mainly a question of user needs and preferences. While ChatGPT can respond to a larger number of different queries effectively and presents the best performance overall, Grok AI gives a cheaper option to users and is a chatbot focused on creating humorous, human responses.

Grok AI vs ChatGPT – Background information

Grok AI and ChatGPT have the most significant maturity gap between any two big tech AI chatbots. OpenAI’s ChatGPT was released to the public on November 30th, 2022. Almost one year later, Elon Musk responded with xAI’s Grok on November 4th, 2023. Since 2018, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been spending $13 billion in funding from Microsoft to make his AI system the world’s favorite. With over 100 million weekly active users, as revealed by Altman on OpenAI DevDay, it’s safe to say the title has been secured.

However, Musk himself has a title his competitor doesn’t: World’s richest person. Having already spent $44 billion USD to acquire Twitter before rebranding it to X, Musk is now using one of the world’s largest and longest-running social media platforms as a training data source to catch up with OpenAI.

xAI team quote:

A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the 𝕏 platform. It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.

The xAI team

Grok AI is designed to be different. Elon Musk’s AI venture promises to bring humor and personality to what is an increasingly sanitized and censored form. To quote the xAI website, “Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor!”.

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Grok vs ChatGPT – Performance benchmarks

xAI has conducted its own research into the proficiency of the Grok-1 LLM (large language model), compared with every other neural network in the AI chatbot space. A side-by-side comparison of Grok-1 puts it 4th highest across 4 separate independent benchmarks, despite having only two months of training. This puts it consistently above the free version of ChatGPT, which uses the GPT-3.5 model but is not quite as successful as paid models of ChatGPT (Plus and Enterprise) which use GPT-4.

Benchmark comparison table

BenchmarkGrok-0LLaMa 2Inflection-1GPT-3.5Grok-1PaLM 2Claude-2GPT-4
The large language models of big tech, as benchmarked by xAI.

Benchmark comparison

GSM8k is the first of these benchmarks. Based on “middle school math word problems”, this is a deceptively difficult task for a natural language processing (NLP) bot. This is because a neural network doesn’t use pure computational arithmetic like a calculator. Instead, it learns by example, concluding the answers to new problems based on successful input/output pairs (equation/solution in this case). Surprisingly, modern neural networks are getting very good despite this fundamental inefficiency, with GPT-4 scoring over 90%.

MMLU (Massive Multitask Language Understanding) is a multiple-choice test. This would be easy for an AI, except for the fact that MMLU is multidisciplinary and tests the AI’s ability to relate from one field of expertise to another — exactly what neural networks should excel at.

HumanEval is a benchmark specializing in programming proficiency. It uses Python, the most popular programming language for creating these AI models in the first place, but extrapolates well when evaluating performance for other languages.

MATH is, unsurprisingly, a mathematics test. As shown by the performance figures below, these are much harder for an AI system than GSM8k, with the highest grade going to GPT-4 at merely 42.5%.

Price comparison

Both ChatGPT and Grok AI are large language models and rely on a text input and response process, with there only currently being one version of Grok AI available to the public a key difference between Grok and ChatGPT is versatility. With its different tier subscriptions, ChatGPT is able to offer users a variety of responses based on a number of different queries.

ChatGPT has four different user tiers:

  • Free
  • ChatGPT Plus – $20 per month
  • ChatGPT teams – $25 per user a month (minimum amount of users on a team is 2)
  • ChatGPT Enterprise – price available on request

The free version of ChatGPT is free forever and holds many similar features to LLM chatbots on the market. However, with a paid subscription to either of the two premium tiers, users gain access to the GPT-4 LLM, as well as other advanced features that Grok lacks, such as:

  • GPT-4V (Computer vision-enabled VLM version of GPT-4)
  • Browse with Bing (Internet access)
  • Image generation (DALL·E 3)
  • Plugins (943+ additional functions from third-party developers)
  • Advanced-Data Analysis (Previously Code Interpreter)

Unlike ChatGPT, Grok AI does not have a free version of the chatbot. In order to access Grok AI you need to pay for an X Premium + subscription, which starts at $16 a month. Considering, there’s only a $4 difference between ChatGPT Plus and Grok AI, with ChatGPT Plus providing additional features that Grok doesn’t, it’s clear that ChatGPT may have the upper hand here.

Will there be a Grok AI update?

Considering Grok AI’s lack of features seen in other AI chatbots on the market, it’s reasonable to think that Musk will want to update the platform imminently. In February 2024, Musk revealed that Grok AI will be having a major update, which will soon be implemented. Musk hasn’t announced much about Grok 1.5, but he has said that it will feature a new button, and will now be able to help users in creating posts.

Grok AI vs ChatGPT – conclusion

Deciding between ChatGPT and Grok AI relies on looking at benchmarks, considering the user’s intent with the chatbot, and recognizing budget. By looking at the benchmarks in the table above we can see that Grok-1 is ahead of ChatGPT-3 in all areas, however, GPT-4, used in ChatGPT Plus, is ahead of Grok AI. If you’re looking for an advanced AI chatbot that has a number of additional features and are willing to spend a little more, then it sounds like ChatGPT Plus could be the option for you. On the other hand, if you want to spend a little less on a chatbot that still performs well against its competitors, and has the edge of being accessible to data on X then Grok AI is the option for you.

Both chatbots present the best in LLM models and demonstrate just how quickly this technology is advancing. Either way, you choose, both of these dedicated chatbots definitely won’t disappoint.

Steve is an AI Content Writer for PC Guide, writing about all things artificial intelligence. He currently leads the AI reviews on the website.