Grok AI wrongly accuses Klay Thompson of 'brick-vandalism spree'

Occurred: April 2024

Elon Musk's Grok AI chatbot falsely accused NBA star Klay Thompson of criminal vandalism. 

In a X/Twitter post titled "Klay Thompson Accused in Bizarre Brick-Vandalism Spree," Grok turned a false story of Klay vandalising his house with bricks into a literal story of of Thompson vandalising houses with bricks.

Commentators pointed out that Grok likely confused a common basketball term in which players are said to be throwing "bricks" when they take an airball shot that doesn't hit the rim. Earlier, basketball star Thompson had had an "all-time rough shooting" night, hitting none of his shots in his last game with the Golden State Warriors.

In small type under Grok's report, X includes a disclaimer saying, "Grok is an early feature and can make mistakes. Verify its outputs."

The incident raised questions about the liability of chatbot makers when making false and defamatory statements. It also highloghted concerns about Grok's safety, including its perceived vulnerability to manipulation to produce misinformation and disinformation.

Operator: xAI Corp
Developer: xAI Corp
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Summarise news articles
Technology: Chatbot
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Defamation; Mis/disinformation; Liability
Transparency: Governance