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The Morning After: Elon Musk’s new AI company, xAI, launches Grok the chatbot

But only for X’s Premium+ subscribers.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Elon Musk’s new AI company, xAI, will release its chatbot to X subscribers who pay $16 per month once it exits beta. A select group of X users started testing Grok, a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, this weekend.

Musk laid out his heady ambitions for xAI earlier this year, saying in July that its intended purpose is, quite literally, “to understand the true nature of the universe.” Having said that, Musk says Grok will wield a sense of humor, like this… banter sewn into a guide to making cocaine, which must be funny to someone.

Grok’s notable feature is its real-time access to information published on X, which Musk claims will be “a massive advantage over other models.” Rival chatbots are limited to the information fed to their model. If Grok constantly pulls new information from X, it could have an edge. It could also be more liable to the horrible biases of AI models, not to mention parsing the mass of misinformation swirling around the rebranded social network.

— Mat Smith

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X may start selling recycled user handles

It’s reportedly soliciting people to buy recycled user handles for $50,000.

Beyond subscriptions for access to chatbots, X is looking at other ways to make money. The company has been trying to find buyers for inactive user handles, even sending solicitation emails asking for “a flat fee of $50,000 to initiate a purchase,” according to Forbes. Elon Musk announced back in May that X, formerly Twitter, would start purging dormant accounts and even alluded to plans for recycling disused handles.

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Fortnite keeps breaking player count records since releasing its OG season

Fortnite OG brought back the original island map and more.

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Fortnite

Since the release of Fortnite OG at the end of last week, player counts have reached new all-time highs — peaking on Saturday with 44.7 million players, according to a tweet from the Fortnite team. Players reportedly clocked a cumulative 102 million hours of play, making it the game’s biggest day ever. Apparently, a 2018 map is old enough to be considered nostalgic.

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty of fraud

SBF faces up to 110 years in prison.

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Amr Alfiky / reuters

A federal jury has found FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty on all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. Arrested in the Bahamas back in December 2022, SBF faces a maximum sentence of 110 years in federal prison for multiple crimes, including committing wire fraud against FTX customers, wire fraud on Alameda Research lenders and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He’ll be sentenced on March 28, 2024.

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Washington DC pilots free AirTags scheme to tackle car theft

The pilot program will focus on certain areas.

The city of Washington DC will distribute free Apple AirTags to residents in specific neighborhoods, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday. The aim: to make stolen cars easier for police to track down. “We are equipping residents with technology that will allow the [Metropolitan Police Department] to address these crimes, recover vehicles and hold people accountable,” Bowser said.

DC is the second city to hand out free AirTags to make finding car thieves easier. Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the city would give away 500 AirTags to make finding car thieves easier.

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