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X Debuts Grok’s Stories, A New AI Summary Feature for Trending News

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 6, 2024

X Debuts Grok’s Stories, A New AI Summary Feature for Trending News

X, the platform previously known as Twitter, has introduced a new feature powered by Elon Musk’s AI chatbot, Grok. This feature, named Grok’s Stories, offers summarized versions of trending stories to Premium subscribers within the app’s Explore section.

The summaries are generated based on discussions and posts related to each story on the For You tab, providing a quick and personalized news experience without requiring users to browse extensively.

The For You page, a focal point for X users, aggregates news and stories trending within one’s network and suggests additional content. Unlike earlier efforts by Twitter to annotate trends with headlines and descriptions manually, Grok’s AI technology automates this process, ensuring that all significant news items on the For You page are summarized.

To address potential inaccuracies, each summary includes a disclaimer advising users to verify the information, acknowledging that the AI-generated content could evolve and might contain errors.

The integration of Grok into X aims to enhance user engagement by offering an accessible summary of trending discussions, thereby encouraging Premium subscription purchases, starting at $8 per month on the web. Premium users can access Grok through a dedicated button in the app, setting it apart with its snarky and “rebellious” tone and exclusive access to real-time X data.

Controversy Surrounding Grok’s Summaries

However, Grok’s method of summarizing news based solely on conversations rather than the content of articles themselves has sparked controversy. Critics, like tech journalist Alex Kantrowitz, argue that this approach might lead to a distorted representation of news, as it primarily captures user reactions and opinions. Kantrowitz discussed these concerns and the potential implications of AI-powered news summaries in an article following his email conversation with Elon Musk.

Grok’s Stories follow a similar concept to Twitter’s earlier Moments, which also curated major news and cultural narratives from tweets but relied on human editors before its discontinuation in 2022. Despite its innovative application, Grok has faced challenges in the past. Notably, it misinterpreted the sports term “throwing bricks,” leading to an erroneous story about basketball player Klay Thompson engaging in vandalism.

Innovations in AI News

Meanwhile, the use of AI in news summarization continues to evolve across the tech industry. Projects like Arc’s AI summary feature and the Particle service from former Twitter engineers aim to condense news content efficiently. These tools have raised concerns about their impact on traditional news sites, as they may draw users away from direct site traffic.

In response, some media organizations have partnered with AI providers like OpenAI’s collaboration with the Financial Times (FT), alongside Axel Springer, the Associated Press (AP), and Le Monde, to harness AI without losing control over their content. X, however, has taken a different route by focusing on user conversations around news rather than direct article access.

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Featured Image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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