Google loses $120 billion after Bard AI chatbot answers wrong

After its new AI-search assistant incorrectly answered a question that was presented in promotional material, Google’s market capitalization was reduced by more than $120bn.

Alphabet, the parent company, saw its share price drop 8 percent after Google Bard’s launch was hampered by a misleading answer to a question regarding a NASA telescope.

Alphabet traded at $98.08 (PS81.16) on Wednesday, a drop of 8.1 percent from the $106.77 (PS88.35) price on Tuesday.

It was the largest one-day drop in Alphabet’s stock value since October 2022. The company lost 9pc in just one day following a slowdown in growth, profits, and sales.

Google uses Bard, an AI search assistant to generate text summaries from search results.

Google Bard is seen in action in animated images distributed by the company to celebrate the launch of the new feature. However, the animation gives an incorrect answer.

This falsehood raises further questions about search engines’ accuracy and AI-generated answers to human questions.

An animated GIF shows how Bard works. A user enters the search query “What new discoveries from James Webb Space Telescope could I tell my 9-year old about?”

Scientists have used the NASA telescope to discover new planets beyond the Solar System since December 2021.

One response from Bard is: “JWST took our first photographs of a planet other than our solar system.”

This is incorrect. This is incorrect. The Very Large Telescope array in Chile captured the first ever picture of a planet other than the sun in 2004.

2M1207b is an exoplanet that is approximately five times larger than Jupiter. It is located around 170 light years from Earth.

Artificial intelligence systems that are difficult to spot by humans have caused concern.

OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT’s chatbot rival, has been open about its limitations and admitted that it can sometimes write plausible but nonsensical answers to human questions.

Microsoft owns the company, whose shares have risen 6pc in the past week. According to market analysts, ChatGPT’s launch is responsible for the company’s recent growth.

In a client note, Dan Ives from Wedbush Securities stated that Microsoft’s chief executive was the subject of Tuesday’s “OpenAI” investment/strategic partnership. This is a major win for Nadella & Co.

John Kleeman, the founder of Questionmark online exam site, said in December that “As technology, it’s fantastically impressive, really showing how AI is going change the world.”

OpenAI’s ChatGPT training data includes the complete English-language Wikipedia content, eight years worth of web pages scraped via the public internet and scans from English-language books.

Google may have used similar data sources in the development of Bard, but the company has not disclosed how it trained the software to generate the answers and summary of search results.

A Google spokesperson stated that this highlighted the importance of rigorous testing, which we are launching this week through our Trusted Tester program. Bard will combine external feedback and internal testing to ensure that Bard’s answers meet high standards for quality, safety, and groundedness in real world information.

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