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Bard, Google’s new AI chatbot, gave the wrong answer in its first demo

Published Feb 8th, 2023 4:00PM EST
Bard is Google's new conversational AI service.
Image: Google

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Google’s answer to ChatGPT gave…the wrong answer in its first demo.

A few days ago, Google announced Bard, the company’s own AI chatbot that it says will take on OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. Bard, which is also being advertised as a conversational AI that users will be able to interact with when using Google Search, will be a direct competitor to the new version of Bing, which Microsoft just revealed at a surprise event yesterday.

Google held its own event this morning where many expected the company to spend more time on Bard but, instead, the event focused more on AI visual tools that will be used across its search and maps products. The company says that Bard will be rolling out in the coming weeks and that may be for good reason since, as one astrophysicist pointed out, the first example of Bard in action displayed an incorrect answer.

As spotted by The Verge, Grant Tremblay, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics, pointed out that Bard gave the incorrect answer when it was asked “what new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?” According to the AI chatbot, the telescope “took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system.”

As Tremblay pointed out, the James Webb Space Telescope “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.”

To make matters worse for Bard, Tremblay noted that the current version of Google Search found the correct answer when it was asked “first image on an exoplanet.”

The above example just goes to show that an AI chatbot like Bard and ChatGPT can speak with incredible confidence…while being incredibly wrong. Microsoft’s solution to this problem is to show the references where the chatbot is getting its information when users are interacting with the new version of Bing. We’ll have to see how Google approaches this issue.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.