Google, the search engine giant, has suffered a significant blow after its new artificial intelligence (AI) search assistant, Bard, provided an incorrect answer that was included in its promotional material. This led to a drop of more than $120 billion in the company’s market value and a decline of 8% in the share price of its parent company, Alphabet Inc. The biggest one-day fall in Alphabet’s value since October 2022 saw it trade at $98.08, a decrease from the previous day’s price of $106.77.
The incorrect response from Bard regarding a NASA telescope raised serious concerns about the accuracy of search engines and AI-generated answers to human questions. This has resulted in increased scrutiny of AI systems and their potential for inaccuracies that are not easily spotted by humans.
Google Bard AI
Google Bard is an AI search assistant that generates text summaries of search results. The animated image of Google Bard in action was distributed by the company to showcase its new feature, but it delivered a false answer, causing significant losses for the company.
Google has yet to comment on the misleading response from Bard, but other AI developers such as OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, have been transparent about the limitations of their technology. OpenAI has admitted that AI systems can sometimes deliver plausible but incorrect or nonsensical answers to human questions. The company has trained ChatGPT using extensive data sources, including the entire English-language content of Wikipedia, eight years of web pages from the public internet, and scans of English-language books. It is believed that Google may have used similar data sources to develop Bard, but the company has yet to reveal the training process of its AI software. Despite the recent setback, Microsoft’s share price has grown 6% over the past week due to the launch of ChatGPT.