Aside from X, and his grand vision for building a broader social/entertainment utility, Elon Musk is also investing in AI, and building his own generative AI models which, in his words, will be “maximally truth seeking”, and not be influenced by political agendas.
And it may also feed into the X platform, according to a post from Musk over the weekend.
In response to a criticism of X’s current search functionality, Musk shared this:
We are working on semantic (AI) search. Will show posts of X that match the meaning of your search, not just the text.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2023
So X is seemingly working to build more semantic data matching into its systems, which would then provide improved search capacity, while also potentially providing all new data insights for businesses and creators, that can better understand the context of a mention within a post, as opposed to simply feeding through keyword matches.
Which has become a focus of X’s renewed push to combat hate speech in the app. Despite third-party reports that hate speech mentions have increased since Musk took over the platform late last year, X’s own commissioned research shows that when you factor in the context of such mentions, as opposed to tallying keyword matches, actual instances of hate speech have declined, with some 86% of the slur usage in the app not actually posted in a negative or harmful way.
In other words, context matters, and it seems like X will be hoping to use AI to better sort such, and provide more insight into how words are being used in posts, as opposed to simply giving you a listing of mentions, which aren’t always complete or accurate either way.
Musk announced that improving the platform’s search functionality was a “high priority” in the early stages of his takeover at the app, and has also pledged to include semantic keyword-based targeting for X ads, as well as improved search feedback loops to iterate on its search offering.
Thus far, none of these have come to fruition, but as noted, Musk and his team are also developing the xAI model, which may play a role in facilitating these improvements, and building a better contextual targeting system.
Which could deliver significant improvements. It’s not clear how long the system will take to be built, nor how exactly it will link back into the X app. But it does seem that this is the broader view, as part of the rapid evolution of the platform.
Which means you could see an improved X search system coming soon. We’ll keep you updated on any progress.