X's AI bot reports joke posts as real news

If you pay for Twitter (sorry, X), you can now use the company's artificial intelligence bot, Grok. Part of the perk includes access to a trending news feed in the Explore tab powered by the company's artificial intelligence. The only problem? This is rubbish.

Grok's trending news feed appears to work like this: the bot aggregates the "popular" posts about any given news story and then generates a news summary from those posts. Quite simply, we’ve seen what generative AI does before. But before you fire your human writers and editors and put Grok in charge of the news, you might want to see how its reporting actually works.

Grok appears to be aggregating joke tweets and spitting out AI-generated answers as real news. You can see this in this post shared by X user BrettRedacted after an earthquake hit much of New York City. The bot generated the headline: "Adams vs. Earthquakes: 50,000 Cops in Subway Showdown," and then reported how New York City Mayor Eric Adams is deploying the NYPD to "prevent further earthquakes," considering the use of "robocops" ” and ordered “every policeman in the city” to “shoot this damn earthquake before it happens again.”

Of course, we live in strange times, but no reasonable person can believe that Gronk's summary of the news is accurate. If you can't decide for yourself, you can check out the popular posts driving this news summary, which in this case were joke tweets about the mayor's response to the earthquake.

This is a sad but humorous example of the state of X in 2024. Past versions of the site would have been a place to follow legitimate updates on breaking news, such as the New York earthquake, and laugh at jokes about the situation. The site now treats the jokes as news. I guess, you get what you pay for.

It doesn't take much foresight to imagine how this situation could go from sad but humorous to dangerous. What happens when Grok decides to "report" content that appears legitimate at first glance but is based on misinformation that's widely spread on the site? User

While we can't stop this site from pushing this nonsense, we can all collectively agree not to consider Grok, or any generative AI for that matter, to be a legitimate news source or an accurate summary of the day's headlines.