Shares in Google’s parent company lost more than $100 billion after its ad on chatbot Bard showed inaccurate information.
Shares of Google’s parent company lost more than $100 billion in market value on Wednesday after its Bard chatbot ad showed inaccurate information and analysts said its AI search event lacked details about how it would respond to Microsoft’s ChatGPT challenge.
Reuters was first to point out the error in Google’s ad, which debuted on Monday, about the first satellite to take pictures of a planet outside Earth’s solar system. Shares in parent company Alphabet fell 8% or $8.59 per share to $99.05 and were one of the most actively traded on US exchanges.
The tech giant posted a short GIF video of Bard in action via Twitter, describing the chatbot as a “launching pad for curiosity” that would help simplify complex topics, but he provided an inaccurate answer that was spotted just hours before Bard’s launch event in Paris.
“It’s a hiccup here and they’re punishing the stock hard for it, which is justified because obviously everyone’s pretty excited to see what Google is going to counter with Microsoft coming out with a pretty decent product,” Dennis Dick said, founder and market structure analyst at Triple D Trading.
Google’s event came a day after Microsoft unveiled plans to integrate rival AI chatbot ChatGPT into its Bing search engine and other products in a major challenge for Google, which for years has overtaken Microsoft in search and navigation technology.
In the ad, Bard is prompted, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my nine-year-old about?”
Bard responds with a number of replies, including one suggesting that the JWST was used to take the very first images of a planet outside Earth’s solar system, or exoplanets. This is incorrect, as the first images of exoplanets were taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by NASA.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters: “This underscores the importance of a rigorous testing process, something we’re launching this week with our Trusted Tester program.”
“We will combine external feedback with our own internal testing to ensure that Bard’s responses achieve a high level of quality, security, and grounding in real-world information.”
The error was spotted hours before the launch in Paris, where top executive Prabhakar Raghavan promised users would use technology to interact with information in “entirely new ways”.
On Wednesday, Raghavan touted Bard as the future of the company, telling audience members that by using generative AI, “the only limit to research will be your imagination.”
“Google has been scrambling over the past few weeks to catch up on search and that caused the rush of yesterday’s announcement and the embarrassing mess of posting a wrong answer during their demo,” Gil Luria said. , senior software analyst at DA Davidson, an investment bank.
As of this writing, the ad has been viewed on Twitter over a million times.