Are Microsoft’s Hype Box and Google’s Bard Just as Bad as Each Other?

If Microsoft and Google can’t fix their models’ hallucinations, AI-powered search is not to be trusted no matter how alluring the technology appears to be.

Microsoft’s new AI-powered Bing search engine generated false information on products, places, and could not accurately summarize financial documents, according to the company’s promo video used to launch the product last week.

After months of speculation, CEO Satya Nadella finally confirmed rumors that Microsoft was going to revamp Bing with an OpenAI chatbot, reportedly more powerful than ChatGPT. New capabilities showcasing Bing’s potential to make web search more flexible and efficient were demoed at a private, invite-only press event held at the company’s headquarters in Washington.

The following day, Google launched its own rival AI-search chatbot Bard and was heavily criticized when it made a factual error about the James Webb Space Telescope. Google’s parent biz Alphabet’s market value temporarily dropped by 9 percent shortly afterwards, a decline worth over $120 billion, prompting investors and analysts to debate whether it was losing to Microsoft.

In reality, both Microsoft’s Bing and Google’s Bard are just as bad as each other. Both companies launched shoddy AI chatbots that generated text containing false information, but Microsoft’s mistakes were not immediately caught. Now, some of its errors have been spotted by Dmitri Brereton, a search engine researcher.

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