While Google’s stated goal was to create an AI that could compete with the popular chatbot, the company got off to a shaky start when users pointed out errors in the advertisement for the service, posted on Twitter.
An advert for Google Bard was released online in which the tech giant’s artificial intelligence was asked a simple question. Bard is asked in the commercial, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year-old about?” To which it replies with a number of different answers. However, one of them particularly stood out. Bard suggested that “JWST was used to capture the first images of an exoplanet.”
Bard is an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA. Built using our large language models and drawing on information from the web, it’s a launchpad for curiosity and can help simplify complex topics → https://t.co/fSp531xKy3 pic.twitter.com/JecHXVmt8l
— Google (@Google) February 6, 2023
While not many people noticed this at first, as the main thing being shown off here was the actual functionality of the service, Grant Tremblay from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics noticed a flaw. He disproved Bard’s answer about how JWST took the first image of an exoplanet. In his tweet, he said:
Not to be a ~well, actually~ jerk, and I’m sure Bard will be impressive, but for the record: JWST did not take “the very first image of a planet outside our solar system”.
The first image was instead done by Chauvin et al. (2004) with the VLT/NACO using adaptive optics.
If you need confirmation, NASA has corroborated Tremblay’s claim. Google in their event today, talked about the future of their AI language model, and while it seems interesting, the accuracy it offers remains a question, after what happened with the ad.
While it’s widely known that AI chatbots can’t replicate a human’s thought pattern or social interactions, and that the reliability of AI language models is still a concern, nobody expected this from Google, especially since you’d think they’d be able to fact-check a GIF that’s only seven seconds long.
It is unclear how much of a setback this error will be for Google’s new artificial intelligence, especially given that a positive first impression may make or break a deal for many customers. This mistake occurred at a moment when Google needed to be extra careful to avoid any negative consequences.
Now that Google has finally broken its silence regarding Bard and is publicly discussing its other AI initiatives, you can rest assured that we will keep you informed of any updates as they emerge.