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news Trend Domain Name Investing: Grok, GPTs and .BOT

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Several domain name niches have received a lot of attention lately, all related to some aspect of artificial intelligence or automation. Each week dotDB publish a list of trending terms based on new registrations. In the most recent report, grok and gpts were at the top of the list.
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Elon Musk announced a chat bot, and underlying AI model, named Grok, leading to a flurry of new registrations related to that term.

As we reported last week, OpenAI announced Custom GPTs and a Custom GPTs Store that will be opening soon. This has reinvigorated interest in the domain name term GPT, especially the plural GPTs, and connotations implying customized versions.

Restrictions on the .bot extension were recently removed, allowing registration for investment purposes. A number of investors see opportunities in that TLD that is part of Amazon Registry Services.

Grok

Elon Musk described the AI-powered chat bot Grok as “designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak.” Grok will have fewer restrictions and protections compared to existing AI products. Grok will also have access to completely current information, including that on the X platform.

The chat bot Grok is based on the Grok-1 LLM, a product of the X.ai artificial intelligence division of X. Apparently only several months in development, according to performance tests reported in this article, Grok-1 is already more capable than GPT-3.5, although not up to GPT-4 standards. You can read more about Grok at X.ai.

Grok is currently only available to a select group. It will be rolled out to X users with premium subscriptions at some point.

The term grok is usually attributed to science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein who introduced the term in Stranger in a Strange Land, published in 1961; more on the history of this term in the next section.

The term grok found business use well before the Musk announcement. OpenCorporates show 140 existing active businesses related to the term grok, in analytics, consulting, design, diagnostics, energy, learning, retail, and wholesale, and a number of other areas.

I also looked into existing trademarks using the Furm.com trademark summarizing service. X.AI have pending applications filed on Oct 23 and Nov 7, 2023. Interestingly, there is an earlier, May 3, 2023, for artificial intelligence that seems to be from a different group.

Among the existing trademarks that have been approved are those covering an educational game, business consulting, website pattern identification, electric lamps, along with many cancelled or abandoned trademarks, and multiple-word marks.

At time of writing, dotDB indicated that the term grok was registered in 330 extensions, and part of 7960 longer names.

NameBio show one sale of the exact term grok, in the .ai extension in 2019 for $1116. That name is currently listed for sale on Afternic. I also checked the current status of the .com, which shows a simple Hello! message, and .org that has a coming soon.

NamePros members are highlighting and discussing domain names related to Grok here, the thread started by tourismtourism.

Interesting Background of Word Grok

Grok is a dictionary word, present in the main dictionaries, and playable in Scrabble. The Collins online dictionary describe the meaning as:
grok (verb): to understand completely and intuitively.
Merriam-Webster define it similarly. But that simple definition hides the interesting nuances of the term.

Merriam-Webster hints at the interesting history of the word in the Did you know? section:
Grok may be the only English word that derives from Martian. Yes, we do mean the language of the planet Mars.
Science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein described the term in Stranger in a Strange Land as meaning, among other things, to drink water on Mars. But it is far more than just the act of drinking water, it is when an action becomes part of you, that is what to grok means. This sense of the word has grown over the decades, particularly within the computer science community.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive account of the term Grok, including quotations from the use in Stranger in a Strange Land. As it explains, grok means more than 100 English words:
…words which we think of as antithetical concepts. 'Grok' means all of these. It means 'fear', it means 'love', it means 'hate' – proper hate, for by the Martian 'map' you cannot hate anything unless you grok it, understand it so thoroughly that you merge with it and it merges with you – then you can hate it. By hating yourself. But this implies that you love it, too, and cherish it…
The more I read about the term, the more impressed I am with its choice for a social media related AI chatbot. I think Grok was brilliant naming. Of course, whether domain names that include grok will be brilliant investments, is a totally different question.

I researched the term with Google Books Ngram Viewer, finding as expected a big boost after the publication of Stranger in a Strange Land. The word has become even more popular since then, particularly in computer science circles.
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Frequency of use of term grok in books digitized for Google Books. Plot and data courtesy Google Ngram Viewer.

Interestingly, there was apparent use of the term prior to the date it was generally agreed the word was invented. How can that be? The term appeared in books at least back to 1800, the period covered by NGram. Sometimes apparent use in old documents is simply due to typeset errors, so I dug a bit deeper.

While many of the entries are related to use as a proper name or ship name, there does appear to be occasional other use of the term. For example, I found multiple occurrences on page 235 of the book The Adventures of a Griffin on a Voyage of Discovery written by Harden S. Melville and first published in 1867.

The Collins Dictionary entry for the term grok also confirms use back to the 1700’s, although at same time attributing the origin to Robert A. Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land.

I wondered if Grok was still used as a surname. I consulted forebears.io, that suggested only 35 people have this surname, with the highest concentration in Russia.

GPTs

As I write this, the term GPTS is registered in 218 extensions, along with 4829 longer names, according to dotDB. By comparison, the singular GPT is registered in 374 TLDs, and just over 120,000 longer terms.

The popularity of the term GPTs is directly related to the announcement at OpenAI DevDay of Custom GPTs and an associated store. I covered this topic in detail last week in the NamePros Blog, and already many thousands of GPTs have been developed, along with services to link and highlight them prior to the arrival of the OpenAI store.

The term GPTstore also made the dotDB weekly top ten list, in fifth place. That term had 78 registered TLDs, up 64 from the preceding week. You can access the full keyword trends list, and top keywords list, with one of the dotDB paid plans.

NameBio show only a single sale of the exact term GPTS, a wholesale acquisition of the .com at NameJet in 2011. At time of writing, the term GPT has been part of 103 sales listed on NameBio, total volume of just over $176,000. Many other sales have been announced in other venues.

According to Furm.com, OpenAI filed a Dec. 27, 2022 trademark application for the term GPT. There are a number of pending trademark applications for ChatGPT, including a number not by OpenAI.

OpenCorporates show 38 active businesses use, or formerly use or are also known as, a name including GPTS. If one uses the singular GPT, that grows to 4976, however. It seems that few are related to the artificial intelligence field, though.

The NamePros showcase for GPT domains is at this link.

.BOT

While the .bot extension was delegated Dec. 5, 2015, and in general availability since Nov. 15, 2018, the extension got little traction. Generally there were only about a thousand registrations, with the peak just over two thousand.

This is because .bot extension use was initially restricted to those with an operating bot. Interestingly, that document pointed out that during 2016 there were more than 6000 .com domain names that included the term bot being registered each month.

What changed recently was that anyone could register a .bot without needing to prove an operating bot. This meant the TLD was now suitable for domain name investment. The number of registrations continues to grow, but on date of writing nTLDStats showed about 5500 registrations – you can find the current number at this link, with growth of about 200 per day. Here is a plot of registration numbers for the extension, courtesy of nTLDStats. The second plot shows the recent increase during early November 2023.
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Registration numbers in .bot extension, data courtesy of nTLDStats. Top plot is over a period mainly before lifting of extensions, with recent increase at far right. Bottom plot shows data for early November 2023.
Standard registrations start at about $60 per year, with some registrars charging much more. There are also registry premium names in the extension.

For some reason, TLD-List does not show a number of the registrars that handle this extension. For example, as of writing date, it does not list Dynadot, the registrar leading the NamePros 2023 Favorite Registrar members poll, even though .bot can be registered at Dynadot at a competitive rate. So check with your registrar whether they yet handle .bot.

The significant holding cost, roughly 6x that of .com, .org or .xyz, 3x that of .co, and almost double .io, must be considered when planning investments in .bot.

NameBio do not show any sales yet in the .bot extension
. This is not surprising, given the registration restrictions in place until recently.

I also looked on NameBio for sales in any TLD that include the term bot. Over the last 5 years there were 1530 sales totalling $1.1 million. Of course, a sale of a term in .com is not the same thing as a sale in that term as an extension.

One estimate of the bot services sector suggests a worth of $1.6 billion currently, with a compound annual growth rate of 33.2%.

At time of writing, one could not yet list .bot names for sale at Afternic or Sedo, but they can be listed at Dan.

There is an active showcase and discussion for .BOT on NamePros, started by @rokoroko. It is currently the most popular NamePros discussion this month, and indicator of interest in the extension.

Please share in the comment section below your views on any of the three trending niches mentioned here, or on investing in trends in general.


Thanks to dotDB for data on trending terms. Readers should do their own research, and consult legal counsel as needed, with respect to trademark questions. I do not have any registrations in Grok, GPT or GPTs, or in the .bot extension, so no conflict of interest in presenting these topics.

Update:
Nov 15, 2023: Just after publishing this, I discovered that NamePros member @kobunketsu had also commented on the early use of the word grok. You can f
ollow that discussion here.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
I invested in a .bot

cardio

Cheers
Corey
 
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Sedo has now added the ability to list .bot domains.
A bunch listed already.
Added my portfolio: ui, Vacuum, Resource, Charging, Filter
 
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Interesting and well detailed. I think the popularity of the word "grok" will increase as the grok AI bot becomes available for use inside X ( Former Twitter ) platform for the premium + subscribers. Huge awareness of the word will happen when or if the grok ai bot use is available to all X users irrespective of whether free or premium user.
 
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Let's not forget AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), I'd rather bet (*already did) on this for the next 3 - 5 years, than go into "Grok" (I'm a little paranoid when it comes to trademarks or specific brand naming). Also I'd take ASI (Artificial Super-Intelligence) in consideration, even if its more like a shot in the dark, still worth to speculate on rumors and conspiracy trends :droid:
In my opinion, having trademark problem will most likely depends on what you use the grok word in the domain for. One can have domain name with grok and used for business not related to AI or business with trademark, i see no trademark issues here
 
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