Grimes has lent her voice to a new AI children’s toy called ‘Grok’.
The musician has announced on X/Twitter that she teamed up with Silicon Valley start-up Curio to create Grok, a plush toy that can talk. It is currently priced at $99 (£78) on the Curio website.
“For the past few months I’ve been working with the amazing team at Curio to create interactive toys that talk to kids without any screens etc,” she wrote. “Today we’re launching the beta program for Grok!”
For the past few months I’ve been working with the amazing team at @curiobeta to create interactive toys that talk to kids without any screens etc. today we’re launching the beta program for Grok ! Voiced by Grimes 🍓 pic.twitter.com/tQ6KxbkMdw
— Princess Irulen ® (@Grimezsz) December 14, 2023
Curio co-founder Misha Sallee has said the toy was designed with Grimes’ children in mind, particularly with her eldest child with Elon Musk, X Æ A-Xii, “because he’s of age where he can actually talk to the toy and it can talk back more effectively.”
Along with voicing the toy, Grimes is also an investor in the company. In an interview with the founders and AI theorist Roon, she said: “I really feel like this is also the first step towards also sort of reducing screen time as much as humanly possible.”
Grok will also be accompanied with an app for parents, which apparently will provide full transcripts of any conversation the child has with the toy. According to other co-founder Sam Eaton, parents can ban certain words or make some topics “off-limits”.
However, he also stressed that the toy wouldn’t collect or store voice data, and that storage of the transcripts would comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Furthermore, parents can reportedly request that the transcripts be deleted: “I really think it’s important to let parents know that they do have full control over it and we’re not hiding anything,” Eaton said.
Some may notice that ‘Grok’ shares the same name as Elon Musk’s very own AI chatbot. However, Grimes’ toy has nothing to do with Musk’s venture. According to the Washington Post, the name is a shortening of ‘Grok’. The plush toy is in the shape of a rocket, and was coined because of Grimes’ children’s exposure to rockets through Musk’s ownership of SpaceX.
On Twitter, Grimes also said “by the time we realized the Grok team was also using this name it was too late for either AI to change names, so there are two AI’s named Grok now.” She added that she couldn’t “wait for them become friends.”
Grimes has long expressed her interest in AI technology; she recently made over 200+ GrimesAI Records available for content creators to use on any platform. She also released software that mimicked her voice so people could use it in songs back in May.
In other news, Grimes and Elon Musk recently revealed they had a third baby, Techno Mechanicus.