Google’s AI Chatbot Error Shaves $100B off Company Value

Google’s AI Chatbot Error Led to $100B Stock Value Plummit
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Google’s parent company Alphabet’s stock value lost around $100 billion on February 8 after its new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot “Bard” gave an inaccurate answer during a promotional event.

Google’s promotional video showcasing Bard’s functionality scored a self goal when the chatbot provided an inaccurate answer to a question.

The chatbot was asked: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year-old about?”

While Bard gave several responses to the query, it included one that said JWST was the first telescope to take pictures of another planet or exoplanets outside our solar system. This response contradicts NASA’s assertion that the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) took the first pictures.

Following the event, Alphabet shares dropped by about 9% to $99.37 as of press time. Its market cap fell to $1.27 trillion, from the $1.35 trillion recorded in the previous week.

A Google spokesperson reportedly said Bard’s error showed:

“The importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we’re kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program [that would ensure Bard’s response are of] high bar for quality, safety, and groundedness in real-world information.”

Community lashes out

The events generated hysteria from the community which criticized Google and its AI chatbot.

A partner at venture capital firm Wing, Tanay Jaipuria, said Bard’s error “must be the most costly live demo fail of all time.”

A software developer Maxime Peabody said:

“This is classic Google. Also, the fact that they already have a language model assistant (Google Assistant), and yet they choose to launch this as a new product.”

Meanwhile, an investor Toyyib Adewale said “the errors don’t really mean a thing if you are confident Google will sort things.” He added that “long term investors don’t worry about short-term price movement.”

Microsoft profits off Google’s fall

Microsoft appears to have profited from Google’s Bard error as its shares rose by 3% around the same period to $266.73, as of press time.

The tech giant announced the integration of ChatGPT AI technology into its new Bing search engine and Edge Browser.

According to Microsoft, the new applications are powered by OpenAI’s next-generation language model which is more powerful than ChatGPT. While describing the applications as the “AI copilot for the web,” the announcement noted that the new Bing and Edge have some special features that would give them an edge over others.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has described the launch of the new products as an open challenge to Google.

Microsoft’s association with ChatGPT has given it a headstart against Google in AI-powered chatbots. ChatGPT has enjoyed enormous success, reaching 100 million users within two months of its launch as it became famous for the kind of responses it generated.

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