At a demonstration new Google AI bot Bard made an error that cost the company $100 billion.
Technology giant Google’s parent company, Alphabet, made a mistake this week that cost them over $100 billion, which is a terrible week. This drop in market value was due to their new artificial intelligence bot producing an error during an ad demonstration. This error signals an awful launch for the AI bot named Bard.
The artificial intelligence chatbot was launched as Google’s answer to Microsoft’s incredibly successful chatbot, ChatGPT. It is so successful that it has now been banned in New York school districts as students are using it to do their homework.
In the now most expensive error in advertising history, which was shown on Google’s social media pages on Thursday, the tech company introduced Bard the chatbot as an excellent search engine. After the introduction is where the fateful error occurred, the chatbot is then asked the question, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my nine-year-old about?” The bot then answers the question with several factoids, one of which includes that the telescope in question took the original pictures of any new planets outside of the solar system we live in.
Bard then finishes off this advertisement with an inspirational quote pertaining that discovering information about space can help develop a child’s imagination.
So what was so wrong with a seemingly harmless advertisement that it would cause a super company like Alphabet to lose so much money? Well, it turns out that Bard, the chatbot is wrong. Not only is he wrong, but no one in Google fact-checked the advertisement before it was launched.
The James Webb Telescope did not discover any planets outside the earth’s solar system. The European Southern Observatory took the first photos of exoplanets in 2004. This piece of information was released by NASA. At least they did their homework.
And the irony continues. Social media was fast to work as it pointed out to Google that they should’ve checked the facts in the advertisement by Googling them, something that was bound to go down well in Google’s headquarters.
This disastrous advertisement was launched just mere hours before senior management at Google pinned the chatbot as a significant launch for the company, which they would want to seriously consider if he gave people the wrong information. By the close of business that day, Alphabet’s shares had already dropped by 9%. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s shares grew by 3% as it announced it would expand ChatGPT to be used alongside other Microsoft releases.
The increase in AI chatbots concerns many people. Educators are worried that the rise in chatbots will give way to students using them to cheat on their homework, and as a result, the education system will be less effective. As bots are only used as gap fillers rather than all-knowing supercomputers, they can frequently be wrong, which can also spread incorrect information.
Google’s Bard, the chatbot, will be released in the next few weeks after going through its last round of testing. It will be so valuable to know that the capital of France is Madrid.