Google’s yet-to-be-launched AI chatboard Bard boldly spouted disinformation about the James Webb Space Telescope in a video commercial released on Twitter. The chatbot said, “JWST took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system,” which is clearly incorrect. (For the first time, photos of exoplanets were acquired by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.) According to a credible source, the software titan is now attempting to increase Bard’s accuracy and has asked staff for assistance.
Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s VP of Search, reportedly issued an email to staff workers requesting them to rewrite Bard replies on areas they are familiar with. According to Raghavan, educating it with factual replies would help it increase its accuracy. According to another source, Raghavan also offered a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for correcting Bard’s reply.
Answers should be written in the first person, be unopinionated and impartial, and have a courteous, informal, and accessible tone. Workers are also told not to “avoid making presumptions based on race, nationality, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political ideology, location, or similar categories.” They are forbidden from referring to Bard as a person, implying that it has feelings, or claiming that it has human-like experiences. Moreover, they are encouraged to thumbs down any comments from the chatbot that provide “legal, medical, financial advice” or are hostile and abusive.
Raghavan’s statement came after Google CEO Sundar Pichai contacted staff, urging them to test the AI chatbot for a few hours each week. Employees at Google allegedly chastised Pichai for a “rushed” and “botched” Bard implementation. Employees may now “help shape [the chatbot] and contribute” by evaluating the company’s new product, according to the CEO. He also reminded everyone that some of Google’s “most successful products” were not “first to market,” but “gained momentum because they solved important user needs and were built on deep technical insights.”
With the arrival of the OpenAI chatbot late last year, many have been waiting for Google’s reaction to ChatGPT. The Microsoft-backed technology has grown in popularity in recent months, enough to frighten Google and its investors. On its quarterly results call in early February, Google attempted to ease investors’ fears by discussing its own chatbot and its work creating an AI-powered Search to compete with the next-generation Bing.