Google Stock Plummets 8% Amid AI Competition as Inaccurate Ad Response Sparks Concern

Google Stock Tumbles 8% After Bard Ad Shows Inaccurate Answers, AI Race Heats Up

Alphabet (GOOGL) tumbled Wednesday after Google’s parent company published a new ad for its Bard artificial intelligence chatbot that offered an incorrect answer. Google stock fell nearly 8% after the ad fluke.


Google posted a video on Twitter demonstrating the “experimental conversational AI service powered by LaMDA,” the company wrote. LaMDA is Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications, which applies machine learning to chatbots and allows them to engage in “free-flowing” conversations, the company says.

In the advertisement, Bard is prompted with the question, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year old about?”

Bard quickly rattles off two correct answers. But its final response was inaccurate. Bard wrote that the telescope took the very first pictures of a planet outside our solar system. In fact, the first pictures of these “exoplanets” were taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, according to NASA records.

Google touted the new tech at an event in Paris on Wednesday, where it announced plans to roll out AI-powered search results and maps, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new feature will generate lengthy text responses to complex questions, similar to ChatGPT. And Google will launch the feature when it is confident in the quality of answers, the company says.

Other features include video and image searches, as well as three-dimensional Google Maps that will even create virtual tours of the inside of buildings based on two-dimensional pictures, according to the WSJ.

ChatGPT Is Just The Dawn Of An Era Of AI-Created Content

Google Chatbot Competition

In a research note Wednesday, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said Microsoft is winning the early AI public relations sprint. But the marathon is just beginning, he cautioned.

Microsoft is a major stakeholder in AI competitor OpenAI, which operates the chatbot ChatGPT that went viral in recent weeks. Further, Microsoft announced a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI on Jan. 23. The tech giant declined to reveal a specific amount at the time.

And the company this week unveiled a new version of its Bing search engine, which has lagged behind Google, a dominant player in that market. Microsoft plans to power Bing with the same AI technology used by ChatGPT.

Google’s scale, engineering, cloud resources and AI capabilities give it a competitive advantage over the long haul. And it’s well-positioned to benefit from the next generation of AI, Sebastian wrote. He maintained his $120 price target for Google stock with an overweight rating.

However, Google has been raising alarm bells over the potential for chatbots to upend its business model, the New York Times reported in late December. An unnamed Google executive voiced concerns that text-heavy query results could cut into its ad and e-commerce revenue, which accounted for 77% of the company’s sales last quarter.

Google Stock, AI Player Performance

Google stock fell 7.7% to close at 99.37. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) lost a fraction to 266.73, erasing modest gains.

Also, Baidu (BIDU) fell nearly 5% to 152.34 Wednesday after leaping to 11-month highs on Tuesday when the China-based rival announced plans for its own AI-powered chatbot.

China e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) said Wednesday it’s working on its own AI-fueled chatbot. BABA stock fell slightly.

You can follow Harrison Miller for more stock news and updates on Twitter @IBD_Harrison


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