In a public demo, Google’s AI chatbot Bard gave the wrong answer

News Summary:

  • The question “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?” is posed to Bard in the demo, which Google posted on Twitter. JWST captured the first images of a planet outside of our solar system, according to Bard, who responds with a list of bullet points.

  • Although it hasn’t yet been made available to the general public, Google’s much-anticipated new AI chatbot tool Bard is already drawing criticism for an incorrect response it produced in a demo this week.

The Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory actually captured the first image of an exoplanet—or any planet outside of our solar system—nearly two decades ago, in 2004.

Similar to ChatGPT, Bard is based on a sizable language model that is trained on enormous amounts of online data in order to produce engaging responses to user prompts. Experts have long cautioned against using these tools to spread false information.

Bard’s error emphasizes Google’s difficulty in incorporating the same AI technology that powers Microsoft-backed ChatGPT into its main search engine. Google now runs the risk of undermining the reputation of its search engine for surfacing trustworthy information in an effort to keep up with what some believe could be a radical shift in how people search online brought on by conversational AI.

Google previously stated that Bard would first be made available to “trusted testers” this week, with plans to make it accessible to the general public in the ensuing weeks, in an apparent effort to allay that concern.