Elon Musk’s Grok Will Get All Its News From X

Elon Musk’s Grok Will Get All Its News From X

Elon Musk says Grok’s real-time news feature, which is going about as well as you’d expect so far, will get information purely from “summarizing what people say on X,” in an email to the Big Technology newsletter Friday. Musk says each Grok summary aims to combine breaking news and social commentary by analyzing “tens of thousands” of tweets, but won’t look at any news articles.

“As more information becomes available, the news summary will update to include that information,” Musk told Big Technology. “The goal is simple: to provide maximally accurate and timely information, citing the most significant sources.”

Grok’s approach to AI-generated news is, if nothing else, unique. Rapid breaking news and social commentary are two things that have historically helped Twitter stand out from other social media sites. Elon Musk hopes to distill these parts of the site into Grok’s short news summaries. However, this approach also exposes Grok to the worst downfalls of X.

The platform is flush with sarcasm, hate speech, and misinformation, which makes it difficult for Elon Musk’s robot to do “open-source journalism,” if that’s what we’re calling this. So far, Grok’s AI news summaries have struggled to decipher what’s real, frequently framing jokes as legitimate news stories. One AI news summary read, “Klay Thompson Accused in Bizarre Brick-Vandalism Spree,” mistaking the NBA All-Star’s rough game for a legitimate crime.

Igor Babuschkin, a technical staff member of Grok developer xAI, tells Big Technology that his team is working on “making Grok understand the news purely from what is posted on X.” Since news outlets are often discussed on X, Babuschkin says Grok will occasionally reference news articles mentioned in posts. He says xAI is “working on improving the citations so that we reliably capture who the information in the article comes from.” However, accurately citing a news story you never read sounds… impossible.

The inclusion of social commentary in Grok’s summaries could be a good way to catch users up to speed. A common problem for new X users is that they don’t know what’s going on – they feel as if they were dropped in the middle of a story. AI news summaries could allow casual users to join in the conversation. Of course, that’s given Grok understands the context of a story, something it’s repeatedly struggled with so far.

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