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What question did Bard get wrong?

Revealing the question that sent Google's share plummeting
Last Updated on April 19, 2023
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Google’s latest release, Bard, had a shaky start after it appeared to give an incorrect response during a demonstration video. But, what question did Bard get wrong?

For those who aren’t familiar, Bard is a new AI chatbot that is a direct rival to OpenAI’s famous model – Chat GPT. The new tool runs off Google’s LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) technology and has a competitive edge due to its ability to draw information directly from the internet.

According to Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, this standout feature will enable Bard to “provide fresh, high-quality responses”. But, can it?

In a GIF released by the tech giant, the AI bot was asked “what new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?”. Bard gave three answers in bullet point form. Including one that claimed this telescope “took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system”.

This was a major blow for Google as many astronomers on Twitter pointed out that this was, in fact, incorrect. FYI, the correct answer is ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

Errors such as these really illustrate the challenges of using chatbots to replace search engines. Further increasing the concerns around AI and its ability to spread misinformation.

How much did the Bard mistake cost Google?

This seemingly short clip was pretty damning and resulted in a one hundred billion dollar drop in the company’s market value.

What is the controversy with Bard?

Google has landed itself in hot water more than once when it comes to the Bard AI chatbot. Recent news showed the chatbot had supposedly been trained using Gmail data which was supposed to be anonymous. Google denied the claim, which stemmed from a conversation had with Bard itself. But anxieties remain.

How can I try Google Bard?

At the moment, Bard AI is only available to exclusive testers. Applications to be part of the Bard Beta Testing group appear to be shut. Although we are not certain about whether or not this will change.

No need to worry, however. In Google’s introductory blog post, the CEO announced that the new AI tool will become available to the public in the next coming weeks.

Final Thoughts

It is unknown what impact Google’s latest mishap will have on the release date of their new AI tool. But, with Microsoft launching their version of an AI-powered search engine, the ‘new’ Bing, Google is definitely facing increasing pressure.

As Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI grows stronger, Google will clearly need to shape up to maintain its competitive position in the search engine space.

Funmi joined PC Guide in November 2022, and was a driving force for the site's ChatGPT coverage. She has a wide knowledge of AI apps, gaming and consumer technology.

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