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Elon Musk wants to make Grok AI an option for X premium users to compose tweets

If you still use X, you might have noticed some AI features seeping into the platform lately, powered by Elon Musk’s xAI chatbot, Grok.

Last week, X rolled out “real-time customized news for you created by Grok AI.” In the pre-Musk Twitter era, there used to be something called a “curation team” that identified trending topics and curated the platform’s Explore page. Trending topics were whatever users were talking most about: the latest iPhone, Pi Day, or more pressing subjects like mass shootings and protests. Musk laid the entire curation team off shortly after acquiring the company, and now, many months later, it’s been replaced with AI. That’s going as well as one might imagine.

After an earthquake shook New York City last week, X’s Grok-powered trending tab dredged up jokes from users about the city’s mayor, Eric Adams, sending 1,000 police officers to the Earth’s core—and pushed it as real news. Even worse, the AI trending tab ran a headline last week that read, “Iran Strikes Tel Aviv with Heavy Missiles,” which was completely made up.

Despite the pitfalls, X’s Grok-ification shows no signs of slowing. One source at X told me that Musk has directed engineers to add Grok to the tweet box for users who pay for X Premium, the platform’s subscription feature, which means that users may soon be able to tweet with the help of AI (I imagine this will look similar to what X CEO Linda Yaccarino already posts). The source said Musk “wants people to sound smarter,” and he thinks Grok could help with that. For instance, after being prompted about outer space or popular memes, AI could assist with creating posts about those topics. 

But making those posts “smarter” is a tall ask. Grok, after all, is trained on X’s huge years-old archive of user posts, and many of those aren’t exactly erudite.

What Musk wants AI to do with posts on X isn’t exactly novel, either. While typing an email over Outlook or Gmail, users are often prompted with options to autocomplete their sentences. LinkedIn also offers options to write using AI. I’d say the difference between firing off emails and posting on X is that the latter tends to involve more creativity—a crafted personality, or perhaps personal authenticity. AI, as it stands today, is devoid of all of the above.

There is also the nontrivial problem of spam, which engineers seem unsure of how to tackle, and Musk seems unconcerned about, according to the source. There is so much spam on X that, when Musk posted that xAI would open-source Grok, whoever runs Grok’s X account appeared to poke fun at the widespread spam issue by mimicking the style of popular porn bot messages that pollute the platform.

Musk asked engineers to add Grok to the post-composing tool a few months ago, and, according to the source, the team is stalling. What’s more, the source says the xAI API is slow, making it hard for the X team to work with, and naturally, no one thinks it’s a great idea to let users use AI to fire off shitposts, or aggressive nonsense, at a higher volume. 

As someone who has covered X since it was still known as Twitter, I think integrating Grok into X is an easier and quicker win for Musk than, say, creating a whole payments tool, which has long been in the works. If engineers fail to dodge the AI directive, well, I’ll be interested to see how users put Grok to work as their ghostwriter.

Kylie Robison

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The rest of today’s Data Sheet was written by David Meyer.


Microsoft hack warning. U.S. cybersecurity officials have warned of Russian state-sponsored hackers breaking into Microsoft’s customer systems, in order to steal email correspondence between U.S. agencies and the software giant. As Reuters reports, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency yesterday issued an emergency directive about the activities of the Midnight Blizzard hacking group, which it said “presents a grave and unacceptable risk to agencies.”

ARK’s OpenAI stake. Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management revealed yesterday that, the day before, it bought a stake in OpenAI. The size of the stake remains unknown, Bloomberg reports, while quoting ARK “chief futurist” Brett Winton as saying there’s “$16 trillion in prospective market cap that will be commanded by foundation model–type companies by 2030.”

Alexa apps de-incentivized. It seems Amazon is no longer keen on third-party developers making apps for its Alexa platform, as it’s removing its incentives (free AWS credit and a developer rewards program) for doing so. As Ars Technica reports, there was low uptake of these incentive programs, but dozens of developers are still disappointed. These apps are known as Alexa Skills and Amazon hasn’t called time on them yet, but an Alexa generative AI chatbot is coming soon.


“When we started this work, we were curious. Now, with a deeper understanding and having watched developments very closely, we have real concerns.”

Sarah Cardell, CEO of the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, says the antitrust watchdog is concerned that six tech firms (Google, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Apple, and Nvidia) hold most of the cards in the AI sector, through an “interconnected web” of investments and partnerships. The CMA began investigating the sector last May.


Andy Jassy says Amazon has a ‘great relationship’ with sellers. Longtime sellers say it’s ‘the worst it’s ever been,’ by Jason Del Rey

Amazon adds AI heavyweight Andrew Ng to board of directors as Jassy says it may be biggest tech breakthrough ‘perhaps since the internet,’ by the Associated Press

Meta and Google announce new in-house AI chips, creating a ‘trillion-dollar question’ for Nvidia, by Dylan Sloan

The world’s biggest memory-chip maker is set to unveil a $44 billion project in Texas, notching another win for U.S. semiconductor production, by Bloomberg

Video games are turning into streaming TV, putting ads into America’s favorite entertainment form, by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

‘I discovered DALL-E and was blown away’: How artists are using AI to create very offline art, by Sage Lazzaro


Taylor Swift on TikTok. There’s an interesting twist in the ongoing drama between TikTok and Universal Music Group, which yanked its giant catalog of music from the platform over issues around money and AI. Music from UMG’s biggest artist, Taylor Swift, has now reappeared on TikTok, TechCrunch reports—but only her recent tracks and her “Taylor’s Version” rerecordings of old albums. This may have something to do with the fact that Swift has a new album out next week.

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