The AI race isn't going too well for Google, with its parent company Alphabet taking a huge hit to share prices after its ChatGPT competitor Bard answered a question incorrectly in a promotional video.
AI-powered chatbots are all the rage right now, with virtually every big tech company making a push to establish the technology in a meaningful way. Clearly the market agrees that AI is important, with each move having a serious impact on stock prices.
Google discovered that this week, when a demonstration of its Bard technology fell flat along with its shares.
Google Down 9% After AI-Chat Bot Gets Answer Wrong
In a live-streamed presentation on Wednesday morning, Google demonstrated its AI-chatbot — dubbed Bard — and its ability to quickly answer questions with valuable and easily digestible information on the fly.
The demonstration sees a user asking Bard a simple question: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?” Bard then spits back a few interesting facts with lightning speed, demonstrating just how close this AI-powered chatbot is to launch.
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
The only problem is that the information provided isn't entirely correct. Bard states that the pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope are the first of a specific planet. However, as discovered by Reuters shortly after the presentation, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope actually took pictures of the same planet in 2004.
Google took the snafu in stride, reiterating that this kind of mishap is why testing is so important.
“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.” – a Google spokesperson
Unfortunately, the market was not nearly as forgiving, as Google's parent company Alphabet had stock prices dropped 9% following the demonstration.
The Race for AI
After ChatGPT debuted with surprisingly stellar results, the race for AI supremacy heated up quick. With Microsoft's swift acquisition of OpenAI — the company behind ChatGPT — the starting gun had officially gone off, spurring a mad dash for tech giants around the world.
Baidu is one of the companies vying for that AI tech, announcing that it is currently testing its own chatbot — dubbed ERNIE — that would bring the tech to China, where ChatGPT is not operational. Alibaba also just announced that it would join the fray, which means that AI is coming to China sooner rather than later.
If it seems like AI-powered chatbots are the new gold rush in tech, that's because they absolutely are. And if Google can't figure out a way to turn its search engine empire into a functioning chatbot soon, they're going to be left in the dust.