Alphabet Shares Dive After AI Snafu

Image copyright: reuters

The Facts

  • Shares of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, dropped by as much as 9% in regular trading Wednesday, losing approximately $100B USD following mishaps in the highly-publicized launch of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot, Bard.

  • In a promotional video for the bot released on Twitter, Bard was asked what to tell a nine-year-old about the discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope. In response, the bot incorrectly claimed the telescope was the first to take pictures of a planet outside of the earth's solar system, which was actually achieved by the European Very Large Telescope in 2004.

The Spin

Narrative A

Google no longer provokes fear in its competitors because of its fraught past with AI technology, and the fact that many of its former employees are thriving while leading new startups. As with Amazon’s Alexa seven years ago, Google is playing catchup so there are bound to be hiccups along the way. Google has a fight on its hands if it’s going to retain its search dominance.

Narrative B

Google’s engineers are typically cautious when rolling out new projects, and AI is no different. Bard isn’t available to the public because the testers and technicians are still working out the kinks. Even if Google’s competitors’ AI proves to be better, it will be a tough road for those companies seeking to make a dent in the search market. After all, Google is the name synonymous with the word "search."

Metaculus Prediction

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