Grok and the platform formerly known as Twitter

Fresh of the "success" of the Tesla Cybertruck Elon Musk decided that now was a great time to introduce AI into X. The product was Grok. It didn't go well.

A shocking story was promoted on the "front page" or main feed of Elon Musk's X on Thursday:
"Iran Strikes Tel Aviv with Heavy Missiles," read the headline.

But, there was one major problem: Iran did not attack Israel. The headline was fake.

Even more concerning, the fake headline was apparently generated by X's own official AI chatbot, Grok, and then promoted by X's trending news product, Explore, on the very first day of an updated version of the feature.

Twitter used to have a news feature. but when Musk took over Twitter he fired everyone involved in curating the news. He replaced them with AI.

As you might have imagined, this was only the start.

The headline available to Grok subscribers on Monday read, “Sun’s Odd Behavior: Experts Baffled.” And it went on to explain that the sun had been, “behaving unusually, sparking widespread concern and confusion among the general public.”

The news item claimed that even with the public’s growing concern, “there has been no official statement or explanation from scientific authorities regarding the sun’s current state.” Needless to say, scientists definitely understand what was happening with the solar eclipse, which was observed by millions in North America on Monday. There’s no mystery about why an eclipse happens, despite what some fringe U.S. politicians may insist.

The tweets that apparently prompted this bizarre proclamation from Grok included joke after joke of people wondering where the sun had gone. It appears that so many people making the same joke confused Grok, which tried to turn the jokes into something we should all be worried about.

“Something’s going on with the sun. Don’t want to alarm anyone but seems like I’m not the only one noticing it,” another X user joked.

It seems that Grok, and Musk, doesn't understand sarcasm. If you thought that was bad, it gets funnier.

Grok appears to be aggregating joke tweets and spitting out an AI-generated answer as genuine news. You can see that from this post shared by X user BrettRedacted following the earthquake that shook much of the New York City metro area. The bot generated the headline: "Adams vs. Earthquake: 50,000 Cops in Subway Showdown," then reports how New York City Mayor Eric Adams is deploying the NYPD to "prevent further earthquakes," considering using "robo cops," and has ordered "every cop in the city" to "shoot the damn earthquake before it strikes again."

I want robo cops!

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

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