Credit: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter/X has officially launched Grok, its new AI chatbot, exclusively for Premium+ subscribers in the U.S. The rollout will occur over the next week, starting with long-term paying subscribers.

In a post announcing the release, Twitter/X stated, “the longer you’ve been a subscriber, the sooner you can grok. Don’t forget your towel!”

Grok, the inaugural AI product from Elon Musk’s xAI company, borrows its name from Robert Heinlein’s 1961 sci-fi novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” In the novel, “grok” is a Martian term meaning “to drink,” “to understand,” or “to comprehend.”

Twitter/X’s playful nod to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy through the towel reference aligns with xAI’s goal of “understanding the universe,” a notion Musk supports, having admired Adams as his “hero.”

Accessing Grok, Twitter/X’s AI chatbot

To obtain Grok, individuals must become Premium+ subscribers. After signing up, users can check for access to Grok on Twitter/X’s app or web browser. If accessible, it will appear in the menu alongside its logo: a square with a rising diagonal slash.

For mobile users who don’t immediately see Grok, ensure that the Twitter/X app is up to date. Additionally, iOS and Android users with the chatbot will have the option to add it to their bottom menu, providing quick access.

The efficacy of Grok remains uncertain, as a majority of users are more captivated by its artificially witty “how do you do, fellow kids” demeanor rather than the accuracy of its responses. Early insights from a Tesla employee were unconvincing, delivering largely incorrect and vague information, far from helpful. When measured against competitors like ChatGPT and Google Bard, Grok’s performance fell short, though relying solely on AI chatbots for news is cautioned against.

Nonetheless, for Musk enthusiasts seeking a virtual companion, Grok’s Elon Too, reminiscent of Black Mirror, may briefly satiate this desire for interaction.

Artificial Intelligence

Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo is Mashable’s Australian reporter, covering entertainment, culture, tech, science, and social good. This includes everything from video games and K-pop to movies and gadgets.


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