Google is looking for ways to reassure people that it’s still ahead in the race for the best artificial intelligence technology. And so far, the internet giant seems to have given the wrong answer. An ad intended to showcase his new AI bot showed him answering questions incorrectly. Shares of parent company Alphabet fell more than 7% on Wednesday, robbing the company of $100 billion (£82 billion) from its market capitalization. In an ad for his bot, known as Bard, posted on Twitter on Monday, the bot was asked what he should tell his 9-year-old about the discovery of James Webb’s Space Telescope.
It offered the response that the telescope was the first to take pictures of a planet outside the earth’s solar system, when in fact that milestone was claimed by the European Very Large Telescope in 2004 – a mistake quickly noted by astronomers on Twitter. Google has been under pressure since late last year when Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled new ChatGPT software. It quickly became a viral hit for its facility in passing business school exams, composing song lyrics, and answering other questions. Microsoft this week said a new version of its Bing search engine, which has lagged Google for years, would use the ChatGPT technology in an even more advanced form.
Investors welcome the push for artificial intelligence, but skeptics warn that the technology’s hasty adoption risks bugs and other ways to distort results and raise plagiarism issues increase. A Google spokesperson said,” the error underscores the importance of a rigorous testing process, starting this week with the Trusted Tester program.”