Google’s AI bot answers wrong; Alphabet shares tumble

Google’s AI bot answers wrong; Alphabet shares tumble

Google is trying to reassure people that it is still ahead in the race for the best artificial intelligence technology.

The internet giant seems to be coming up with the wrong answer.

An advertisement designed to show off its AI bot showed it answering a query incorrectly.

On Wednesday, Alphabet's shares fell more than 7%, knocking $100 billion and 82 billion off the firm's market value.

In the promotion for the bot, known as Bard, which was released on Monday, the bot was asked about what to tell a nine-year-old about discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope.

It stated that the telescope was the first to take pictures of a planet outside the earth's solar system, when in 2004 that milestone was claimed by the European Very Large Telescope, a mistake quickly noted by astronomers on Twitter.

Why didn't you factcheck this example before sharing it? Chris Harrison, a fellow at Newcastle University, replied to the tweet.

Investors were underwhelmed by the presentation that the company gave about its plans to deploy artificial intelligence in its products.

Late last year, Google was under pressure when Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled new ChatGPT software. It quickly became a viral hit due to its ability to pass business school exams, compose song lyrics and answer other questions.

Microsoft has said this week that a new version of its Bing search engine, which has lagged Google for years, will use the ChatGPT technology in an even more advanced form.

The technology has raised risks of errors or otherwise skewed results, as well as issues of plagiarism, as well as a belief that investors have embraced the push for artificial intelligence.

A Google spokesman said that the error highlighted the importance of a rigorous testing process, something we re kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester programme. They said that Bard's responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and roundedness in real-world information.

In the last month, Alphabet cut 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, due to layoffs at a number of leading tech giants.