Shares plummet after Google AI chatbot Bard gives wrong answer
Investors and shareholders express serious concern as stocks fall after a product debut goes wrong.
Investors express deep concerns as Google’s debut of a new AI-powered search bot got off to a bumpy start after it shared inaccurate information in a promotional video.
James Webb Space Telescope was not in fact the first to take pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system. As Chatbox Bard incorrectly presented this answer in a promotional video, Google parent Alphabet lost $100bn in market value, feeding worries that it is losing ground to rival Microsoft and encouraging others to compete by developing more AI chatbots.
After Monday’s debut, real concern arose right after Reuters reported an error in its advertisement for chatbot Bard, leaving Alphabet shares flat after hours. As Microsoft shares rose about 3% before paring gains, Alphabet's shares remained flat in post-market trading as well.
Alphabet posted a gif on Twitter of Bard in action, highlighting its aid in simplifying complex topics. However, instead, it delivered inaccurate information, wobbling investors’ confidence.
2022 hasn't been kind to major #US tech companies, as inflation, soaring prices, and the pandemic has hit different industries. pic.twitter.com/3s3yuiEGZL— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 10, 2023
The first pictures of exoplanets were taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by Nasa, and not by JWST, as Bard indicated.
In a failed attempt to dazzle investors, Brad’s error was discovered before Google’s presentation and has been viewed more than a million times on Twitter.
“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.”
Although Google’s live-streamed presentation on Wednesday morning did not include details of Bard’s integration date and function into its core search function, Microsoft had already had an event a day earlier to announce that a version of its Bing search with ChatGPT functions has already been released to the public.
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As advertisers cut spending, Alphabet rushes to keep pace with rivals to accelerate its efforts in keeping investors interested and shareholders feel safe to avoid previous Google shares plummeting.
“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.
While Tuesday’s mishap was deemed an embarrassing mess up for posting a wrong answer during a demo, Alphabet is coming off to a disappointing fourth quarter, which is reportedly bringing in founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to accelerate efforts.
Gil Luria, the senior software analyst at DA Davidson, said, “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," implying that normally Google’s search capabilities are impeccable and highly advanced.
What attracts people to AI-driven search is that it presents the searcher with results written in plain language, rather than lists of links, making browsing easier and more efficient. AI remains a fixation for tech executives who have more than quadrupled their earnings call in prior quarters, Reuters found. As such, people are being encouraged to subscribe to chatbox services to make them more accessible.
With this being said, investors are shaken due to the fact that Chatbot AI systems carry risks for corporations in algorithms due to their ability to skew results, plagiarise, sexualize images, or even generate racist content.