Blunder By Google’s AI Chatbot ‘Bard’, Alphabet Shares Lose $100 Billion.
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, experienced a loss of $100 billion in market value on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, after the debut of its new chatbot, Bard, was marred by inaccuracies in a promotional video.
The chatbot’s error fueled concerns about Google’s ability to compete with rival Microsoft. In response to the blunder, Google stated that it would be launching its Trusted Tester program to ensure the quality, safety, and reliability of Bard’s responses.
Bard’s debut was overshadowed by the recent introduction of software from OpenAI, a startup backed by Microsoft, which has received significant attention for its surprisingly accurate and well-written answers to simple prompts.
Google’s live-streamed presentation on Wednesday failed to provide details about its plans to integrate Bard into its core search function, while Microsoft recently released a version of its Bing search that integrates ChatGPT functions.
“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.”
The stock price of Alphabet declined by as much as 9% during regular trading and saw volumes that were nearly three times the 50-day moving average. After hours, the stock pared its losses and was roughly flat. The company has faced a challenging fourth quarter with advertisers cutting spending, which led to the involvement of founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to accelerate its efforts.
AI-driven search has become a focal point for technology companies, with many executives mentioning the potential benefits of AI in recent earnings calls. The appeal of AI-driven search is the potential to provide results in plain language rather than a list of links, which could make browsing faster and more efficient.
However, chatbot AI systems also carry risks for corporations, including biases in algorithms that can skew results or even produce plagiarized content.
In conclusion, the debut of Google’s AI chatbot Bard was overshadowed by inaccuracies in a promotional video, leading to a loss of $100 billion in market value for Alphabet. Google has responded to the blunder by launching its Trusted Tester program to ensure the quality of Bard’s responses. The stock price of Alphabet declined, but the company is looking to accelerate its efforts in the AI space to keep pace with rival Microsoft.