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X Introduces Grok-Powered News Summaries

  • X’s former Twitter platform integrates Elon Musk’s AI chatbot Grok to automate personalized trending story summaries in its Explore section.
  • Grok’s Stories, available to Premium subscribers, offer succinct overviews of trending topics discussed on the platform, potentially impacting news consumption patterns and partnerships with traditional news publishers.

X, the former Twitter platform, announced and posted screenshots showing that Elon Musk’s AI chatbot Grok will power an automated feature which summarizes personalized trending stories in Explore section of their app. As announced and shown via screenshots posted by their engineering team on Friday, Premium subscribers of X will now have the chance to read a summary of posts associated with each trending story seen under “For You tab in Explore.”

The For You page highlights news and stories being discussed across X’s platform that are popular within your network, along with any suggested items. This feature serves as one of the first stops for those wanting a quick way to stay informed without spending hours scrolling their timelines.

Grok-powered summary for AI Burnout Story begins by noting “AI engineers are facing burnout and rushed rollouts due to the competitive race in the tech industry, as companies prioritize investor satisfaction over solving actual problems.” After briefly touching upon AI “Rat Race”, this story concludes by noting “critics argue that proper safeguards and thoughtful innovation should not be afterthoughts in the pursuit of AI investments …”

Humorously, a message appears below that summary, warning: “Grok can make mistakes, verify its outputs.”

Summarizing trends is nothing new; what’s different this time around, however, is how they’re done. Under its previous leadership Twitter began adding headlines and descriptions of trends back in 2020 without using AI bots; rather they annotated some daily trends with extra information and pin some representative tweets as context; however Twitter’s implementation was inconsistent; some trends getting covered while others didn’t.

With Grok’s Stories – or as they’re commonly known – all the top news from For You is summarized into bite-size chunks for easier consumption.

Grok is designed as an incentive to purchase premium subscriptions through xAI’s chatbot Grok, accessible with Premium or top-tier Premium+ plans. Users can access Grok by tapping on the bottom middle button in the app – unlike other AI chatbots like ChatGPT he provides exclusive and real-time access to X data that not other chatbots possess.

Alex Kantrowitz published to X on Friday an essay outlining Elon Musk’s proposed plans for AI-powered news on X, following an email conversation between himself and its owner, Jaan.

Kantrowitz explained that conversations on X will form the core of Grok’s summaries; thus omitting article texts despite what people might be discussing on that platform. That could present problems when trying to paint an accurate representation of news being shared; instead what might be being talked about could just be reactions and opinions rather than actual news itself. Kantrowitz called Grok’s move controversial but acknowledged its potential.

Journalists already face AI news summaries from other areas and startups alike; for example Arc’s web browser features an AI summary feature while former Twitter engineers have begun developing Particle, an AI news summarization service. How this affects traffic to news sites remains to be seen; although Kantrowitz believes users might go deeper once their curiosity has been aroused; on the flip side it may cause page views to decrease leading to less material available to AI bots like Grok.

As such, some news publishers are making deals with AI providers like OpenAI’s recent announcement with the Financial Times (FT). Others like Axel Springer, the Associated Press (AP), Le Monde and others have announced similar partnerships; in X’s case it allows accessing news via its conversation around it without necessarily needing partners in order to access content itself – an approach both innovative and worrisome in terms of misinformation issues.

Grok’s Stories have begun rolling out to Premium X subscribers now and can be purchased by paying through web or app store payments starting from $8 a month if done so directly.

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