Google's Bard chatbot got answer wrong in promo vid costing it £100,000,000,000

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Google’s market value plunged by more than £100,000,000,000 this week after its new AI bot got the answer wrong to a question featured in a promo video.

Parent company Alphabet Inc’s share price slid by as much as 9% following the error in an advert for Bard, used to generate text summaries of search results, which debuted on Monday.

The company posted a short GIF video of Bard in action via Twitter, promising it would help simplify complex topics, but it instead delivered an inaccurate answer.

In the advert, the chatbot is given the prompt: ‘What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year old about?’

Bard responds with a number of answers, including one suggesting the JWST was used to take the very first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system, or exoplanets.

The first pictures of exoplanets were, however, taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004, as confirmed by NASA.

Bard’s error was discovered just before the presentation by Google, based in Mountain View, California.

‘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 Tuesday to be rushed and the embarrassing mess up of posting a wrong answer during their demo.’

At its lowest point on Wednesday Alphabet was trading at £81.16, a fall of 8.1% on Tuesday’s price £88.35.

That represented the biggest one-day fall in Alphabet’s value since October 2022.

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