On Wednesday, Alphabet Inc suffered a market value loss of $100 billion after its new chatbot spread incorrect information in a promotional video, fueling concerns that Google’s parent company is falling behind its rival, Microsoft Corp.
Alphabet’s stock decreased by as much as 9% during regular trading with volume at nearly three times its 50-day moving average. Despite these losses, the stock managed to recover somewhat after hours and remained roughly unchanged.
Last year, Alphabet’s stock lost 40% of its value, but it had rebounded by 15% since the start of the current year, prior to Wednesday’s decline.
Reuters was the first to bring attention to a mistake in Google’s advertisement for its newly launched chatbot, Bard, regarding which satellite first captured images of a planet beyond the Earth’s solar system.
Bard is an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA. Built using our large language models and drawing on information from the web, it’s a launchpad for curiosity and can help simplify complex topics → https://t.co/fSp531xKy3 pic.twitter.com/JecHXVmt8l
— Google (@Google) February 6, 2023
This error has put Google on the defensive, especially after OpenAI, a startup backed by Microsoft with an investment of around $10 billion, introduced software in November that has left consumers impressed and has become a hot topic in Silicon Valley for its remarkable accuracy and well-written responses to straightforward queries.
Google’s live-streamed presentation on Wednesday morning did not provide information about the integration plan and timeline of Bard into its main search function. The error in Bard was detected shortly before the presentation by Google, which is based in Mountain View, California.
In the advertisement, Bard was asked: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year-old about?” Bard provided a number of answers, including one that stated the JWST was utilized to capture the initial images of a planet beyond the Earth’s solar system, also known as an exoplanet.
However, this information is incorrect, as the first pictures of exoplanets were actually taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by NASA.
A Google spokesperson responded to the error by saying:
This highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we’re kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program. We’ll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information.
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