Google stocks plunge erases $100B after AI chat gives wrong answer

Google’s new rival AI chat to ChatGPT has got off to an embarrassing start, Forbes reports.

Promotional material for Google’s Bard contained an error in the response by the chatbot to: “What new discoveries from the James Webb space telescope (JWST) can I tell my nine-year-old about?”

Bard’s response – in a video demo posted online – includes an answer suggesting the JWST was used to take the very first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system or exoplanets.

The error was picked up by experts including Grant Tremblay, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Center for Astrophysics, who tweeted: “Not to be a ~well, actually~ jerk, and I’m sure Bard will be impressive, but for the record: JWST did not take ‘the very first image of a planet outside our solar system’”.

The wrong answer plummeted Google’s stock. 

Investors wiped more than $100 billion off the value of the search engine’s parent company, Alphabet.

Alphabet’s AI event came just two days after it announced Bard AI in a blog post on Monday, and just a day after Microsoft unveiled its own ChatGPT-powered version of its Bing search engine, showing the race in AI-powered search is rapidly heating up.

However, it’s starting to look like Alphabet may be rolling out Bard hastily, rushing to respond to the threat from ChatMicrosoft to Invest Billions in ChatGPT-Maker OpenAIGPT.

It’s still early, but Google Search, the product that commands a majority of Alphabet’s revenue and profits, is more at risk than ever before, and at least some parts of the search market are likely to transition to generative AI tools like ChatGPT that can give direct answers.

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