Business Essentials for Professionals


Google AI Chatbot Bard Gives A Poor Response In An Advertisement, Stocks Fall

Google AI Chatbot Bard Gives A Poor Response In An Advertisement, Stocks Fall
Alphabet Inc's market value decreased by $100 billion this week as a result of its new chatbot providing false information in a promotional video and a lackluster corporate event, fueling concerns that the Microsoft Corp. rival is gaining ground on Alphabet Inc.
During regular trading, Alphabet shares fell as much as 9%, with volumes nearly tripling the 50-day moving average. After hours, they reduced their losses and were roughly flat. With Wednesday's losses excluded, the stock has gained 15% since the start of this year after losing 40% of its value last year.
Google's advertisement for the chatbot Bard, which made its debut on Monday, contained a factual error about which satellite captured the first images of a planet outside of our solar system. This error was first discovered and reported by Reuters.
After OpenAI, a company Microsoft is investing $10 billion in, unveiled software in November that amazed users and became a craze in Silicon Valley circles for its surprisingly accurate and well-written responses to straightforward prompts, Google has been reeling.
Google did not go into specifics about how and when it would integrate Bard into its primary search function during its live-streamed presentation on Wednesday morning. Microsoft announced at an event the previous day that a ChatGPT-integrated version of its Bing search had already been made available to the public.
Just before the presentation, Mountain View, California-based Google found Bard's error.
"While Google has been a leader in AI innovation over the last several years, they seemed to have fallen asleep on implementing this technology into their search product," said Gil Luria, senior software analyst at D.A. Davidson. "Google has been scrambling over the last few weeks to catch up on Search and that caused the announcement yesterday (Tuesday) to be rushed and the embarrassing mess up of posting a wrong answer during their demo."
On Wednesday, Microsoft stock increased by about 3%; in after-hours trading, it remained unchanged.
Alphabet promised on Twitter that a brief GIF video of Bard in action would help to simplify complex subjects, but it instead provided an incorrect response.
In this screenshot, Google tweets about its AI chatbot Bard.
What recent discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I share with my 9-year-old? is the advertisement's prompt for Bard. Bard offers several responses, one of which claims that the JWST was used to capture the first images of exoplanets, or planets outside the solar system. However, as noted by NASA, it was the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory that captured the first images of exoplanets in 2004.
"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 said. "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."
Alphabet just experienced a disappointing fourth quarter due to decreased spending by advertisers.
The search and advertising giant is reportedly bringing in founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to speed up its efforts in order to keep up with OpenAI and competitors.
"People are starting to question is Microsoft going to be a formidable competitor now against Google's really bread-and-butter business," said King Lip, chief strategist at Baker Avenue Wealth Management, which owns Alphabet and Microsoft shares.
However, Lip emphasized that worries about Alphabet might be exaggerated, stating that "Bing is still a far, far cry away from Google's search capabilities."
After executive commitments to scale back on ostensibly "moonshot" projects and tens of thousands of job cuts in recent weeks, the new ChatGPT software has sparked excitement in technology firms. According to Reuters, AI has taken over the minds of tech executives, who have mentioned it up to six times more frequently on recent earnings calls than in previous quarters.
The allure of AI-driven search is that it might produce results in plain language as opposed to a list of links, which might speed up and improve browsing.
What effect that might have on targeted advertising, which forms the basis of search engines like Google, is still unknown.
Inherent biases in chatbot AI systems pose risks for businesses because they can skew results, sexualize images, or even plagiarize, as users of the service have found out. For instance, Microsoft published a chatbot on Twitter in 2016 that shortly started producing racist content before being taken down. Additionally, a CNET news site AI was discovered to produce stories that were either factually mistaken or plagiarized.
The Bard advertisement had been seen more than a million times on Twitter as of the time of writing.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc