Here’s how one wrong search result lost Google $100 billion

Google lost $100 billion
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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, lost $100 billion in market value on Wednesday after its new AI chatbot, Bard, shared inaccurate information in a promotional video.

Alphabet shares slid as much as 9% during regular trading, with volumes nearly three times the 50-day moving average. They pared losses after hours and were roughly flat. The stock had lost 40% of its value last year but rallied 15% since the beginning of this year, excluding Wednesday’s losses.

The development followed after the $1.3 trillion worth company revealed that Bard will shortly begin public testing.

What is Bard? Google’s alternative to ChatGPT

Google lost $100 billion

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai claimed that they had been working on Bard, a new AI chatbot built on LaMDA, the company’s Language Model for Dialogue Application.

“We’re taking another step forward by opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks,” he had written in the blog post.

Although Bard has not yet been made publicly available, its error was discovered just before the presentation by Google on Wednesday.

Google 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 advertisement, Bard was given the prompt: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year old about?” 

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

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

“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.”