Google owner Alphabet fell by the most in more than three months on concerns that its new artificial intelligence chatbot Bard may yield inaccurate responses.
Alphabet’s showcase of Bard on Feb. 6 was “underwhelming,” Bloomberg Intelligence technology analyst Mandeep Singh said in a note Wednesday.
In one instance, Bard was asked about new discoveries from the James Webb Space telescope. In one of its responses, Bard said the telescope was used to take the first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system, when NASA says those were actually taken by a different telescope.
Google said in a statement that Bard’s response “highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process.”
The company said it will combine external feedback with its own internal testing to ensure Bard’s responses “meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information.”
The scrutiny comes as the battle to build the most accurate and effective search engine is escalating. On Monday, Google introduced Bard, whose underlying technology will eventually be built into Google.com.
The next day, Microsoft said it was integrating a cousin of ChatGPT into Bing. On Wednesday, Google hosted a news conference in Paris where it shared more details about the company’s progress integrating artificial intelligence into search.
“The general sentiment is that ChatGPT and the Microsoft Bing announcement have created a narrative that Google’s search business model is under threat,” said Mark Riedl, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Alphabet declined 9% to $98.40 at 11:26 a.m. New York time, on track for the biggest drop since Oct. 26.