Google’s Bard Flubs! Alphabet Loses $100b

Credits:Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Alphabet Inc posted a short GIF video of Bard in action via Twitter, promising it would help simplify complex topics, but it instead delivered an inaccurate answer. Soon after Alphabet Inc’s new chatbot shared inaccurate information in a promotional video, the Google parent company lost $100 billion in market value. Its shares crashed as much as 9% during regular trading, while its rival Microsoft shares rose around 3% before paring gains, reports Mint.

The error

At first, Reuters pointed out an error in Google’s advertisement for its chatbot Bard, which debuted on Monday. The article was on about which satellite first took pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system.

Google has been on its heels after OpenAI, a startup Microsoft is backing with around $10 billion, introduced software in November that has wowed consumers and become a fixation in Silicon Valley circles for its surprisingly accurate and well-written answers to simple prompts.

On Wednesday morning, Google’s live-streamed presentation did not include details about how and when it would integrate Bard into its core search function. The errors in Bard were discovered just before the presentation by Google, based in Mountain View, California.

However, a day before, the tech giant and Google’s rival, Microsoft held an event touting that it had already released to the public a version of its Bing search with ChatGPT functions integrated, Reuters reported.

Gil Luria, senior software analyst at D.A. Davidson said, “While Google has been a leader in AI innovation over the last several years, they seemed to have fallen asleep on implementing this technology into their search product. It has been scrambling over the last few weeks to catch up on Search and that caused the announcement on Tuesday to be rushed and the embarrassing mess up of posting a wrong answer during their demo.”

Alphabet Inc posted a short GIF video of Bard in action via Twitter, promising it would help simplify complex topics, but it instead delivered an inaccurate answer.

About the video

In the advertisement, Bard is given the prompt: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year-old about?”

Bard responds with a number of answers, including one suggesting the JWST was used to take the very first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system or exoplanets. The first pictures of exoplanets were, however, taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by NASA.

“This highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we’re kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program. We’ll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety, and groundedness in real-world information,” a Google spokesperson said.

Microsoft’s ChatGPT software has injected excitement into technology firms after tens of thousands of job cuts in recent weeks and executive pledges to pare back on so-called moonshot projects.

Reuters found that Artificial Intelligence has become a fixation for tech executives who have mentioned it as much as six times more often on recent earnings calls than in prior quarters.

The appeal of AI-driven search is that it could spit out results in plain language, rather than in a list of links, which could make browsing faster and more efficient. It remains unclear what impact that might have on targeted advertising, the backbone of search engines like Google.

Chatbot AI systems also carry risks for corporations because of inherent biases in their algorithms that can skew results, sexualize images or even plagiarize, as consumers testing the service have discovered.

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Source: Mint


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