Google held a chaotic event just as it was being overshadowed by Bing

Can you embarrass an entire second-hand business? Because that’s what it felt like to watch Google’s Live From Paris event.

Following Microsoft’s exciting news about the new AI-powered Bing, it was reported that Google’s Bard AI technology was inaccurate and faced event errors. It’s an uncharacteristic incident for the tech giant and underscores the “Code Red(Opens in a new tab)“ Google explained internally after the meteoric popularity of ChatGPT.


Can you sign up for Google’s new Bard AI search tool? what to know

To be fair, Google’s main purpose of the event was to announce new features and updates for Google Maps and Google Search, which have been in the works for a while. Immersive view(Opens in a new tab) and Glanceable Directions are some of the highlights that would have been the big highlights in other circumstances. But ChatGPT’s integration with the new and improved Bing forced Google to say so something about Bard, which overshadowed the rest of the event and drew attention to Google’s shortcomings compared to OpenAI’s advanced conversational AI technology.

Join us as we summarize the chaos that has unfolded.

Bard did not conduct his fact check

While the event was taking place, Reuters published a report exposing Bard’s inaccuracy. In a promotional video on the Google blog showing Bard’s abilities, the AI ​​falsely claimed that the James Webb Space Telescope captured the first-ever image of an exoplanet. It was Webbs first image of an exoplanet, but the first recorded image has occurred(Opens in a new tab) back in 2004.

“Information in a language model isn’t pulled from lists of facts and recited, it’s spat out by very sophisticated sentence-completion systems,” reported Mashable’s Mike Pearl. “Sentences about the recent past could be plausibly more error-prone than usual for an AI because the information they contain simply wasn’t written as often.”

In other words, this is a general problem for all current AI language models, not just Bard. But that report coming out while the event was taking place wasn’t a good sight for Google, which prides itself on its AI.

A demo phone was… misplaced

To be clear, this isn’t about ridiculing the poor moderator who just experienced the nightmare of all public speaking. But it speaks to the overall haphazard tone of the event. During the announcement of a new Lens feature, the demo phone was misplaced and the presenter was unable to show the demo, leaving her literally empty-handed and forced to round out the news by promising to show the feature in the Q and A, which followed.

The moderator showed admirable composure, but how could this happen? This was one of the features Google wanted to announce, so the presenter wasn’t told to jump on stage at the last minute. Was the Google event so messy that a phone was lost? Why wasn’t there a backup phone?

Anyone who’s organized an event knows that mistakes like this sometimes happen, but it was an unfortunate mistake during an already bizarre event that left me wondering if Google needed a wellness check.

The Bard’s non-announcement

When Google announced it would be hosting an event on search and AI this week, the internet eagerly began speculating on how it would respond to the ChatGPT threat. Then on Monday, the company officially launched Bard, which fueled anticipation for more details about the conversational AI technology.

Instead, we received a glorified repeat of what was previously announced. The company shared some details on how Bard will improve Google search results and will be open to testers next month. But it felt like a last minute addition smuggled into the pre-planned event. Attendees, expecting a worthy refutation of Microsoft’s Bing announcement, were disappointed.

The live stream is no longer live

After all that, Google seemed to say, “Let’s pretend this never happened,” and immediately made the livestream recording private after the event.

Given the opportunity to flex its AI muscles and address concerns about being spooked by ChatGPT, Google made matters worse by appearing panicked and reactive. Until now, I didn’t consider ChatGPT to be a really credible threat to Google’s AI technology. Maybe OpenAI was there first, but surely Google would come up with something even more powerful to surpass it.

That may still happen in the coming weeks, but this event shows that Google’s worst enemy isn’t ChatGPT, it’s itself. Google held a chaotic event just as it was being overshadowed by Bing

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