Google made a big announcement on Monday about its latest AI innovation Bard. It is pitted against OpenAI’s popular language model ChatGPT. Bard was due to become widely publicly available in the coming weeks. However, it seems that Bard’s debut hasn’t gone exactly as planned.
In a demo video shared by Google demonstrating Bard’s capabilities, the AI chatbot was asked a question about the James Webb Space Telescope. A GIF shared by Google shows Bard being asked the question: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?”
Bard presented answers in three bullet points including one which read that telescope had taken the very first pictures of a planet outside of our solar system. However, this information was incorrect and was quickly pointed out by several astronomers on Twitter.
“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,’” tweeted astrophysicist Grant Tremblay adding that the first picture was done by Chauvin et al in 2004 with the VLT/NACO using adaptive optics.
Bruce Macintosh, director of University of California Observatories at UC Santa Cruz, also pointed out the mistake. “Speaking as someone who imaged an exoplanet 14 years before JWST was launched, it feels like you should find a better example,” he wrote on in a tweet.
Bard’s goof up on debut has cost almost $100 billion to Google. Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, plummeted as it lost $100 billion in market value. The company’s shares dropped 8 per cent or $8.59 per share to $99.05, Reuters reported.
Bard’s factual error has raised concerns amongst AI experts. It underlines the biggest concern around AI which is how confidently these chatbots give wrong answers.
Google has responded to the mistake saying that it points out the importance of thorough testing process. “This highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we’re kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program,” a Google spokesperson told the news agency. “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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