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    Google AI Overview Slammed For Inaccurate and Misleading Information

    Google’s latest feature, AI Overview, has come under fire from users for allegedly providing misleading and false information to search queries. The feature, which was formally launched at the Google I/O conference on May 14, would provide an AI-generated summary to search queries based on a specially customised Gemini model.

    However, many users have experimented with Google’s search engine since then and found disappointing results. AI Overview seemed unable to differentiate between fact and fiction, humour or satire, and was also apparently unable to understand the context in which certain references are made.

    According to a Reddit post, a user asked “How many rocks shall I eat?”, triggering AI Overview to answer “According to geologists at UC Berkeley, you should eat at least one small rock per day.” The source for this claim appears to be an article from the website Onion.com, which is a popular satirical news website. 

    A rock a day keeps the doctor away
    byu/Darth_Vaper883 ingoogle

    Similarly, an Associated Press reporter asked Google if cats have been on the moon, resulting in the response, “Yes, astronauts have met cats on the moon, played with them, and provided care,” it added “For example, Neil Armstrong said, ‘One small step for man’ because it was a cat’s step. Buzz Aldrin also deployed cats on the Apollo 11 mission.”

    The feature also seemed unable to understand the context in which a piece of information appeared in a text, as computer scientist Melanie Mitchell found out. When she asked Google “How many muslim presidents had the US had?,” she was told by AI Overview that “The United States has had one Muslim president, Barack Hussein Obama.” The inaccurate statement seemed to be based on a chapter from an academic book titled Faith in the New Millennium: The Future of Religion and American Politics. Notably, the source text did not make the claim but merely identified this information as being rooted in conspiracy theories.

    Other alleged errors shared by social media included claims that pythons have the most bones out of all mammals, Batman was a cop, adding glue to a pizza would help cheese stick, and that US President John Adams graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison 21 times.

    As journalist Mia Sato from The Verge pointed out, there was little clarity on how the AI evaluated the reliability of its sources and was possibly basing its responses on humourous social media comments.

    Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson told the Verge, “Many of the examples we’ve seen have been uncommon queries, and we’ve also seen examples that were doctored or that we couldn’t reproduce.” The spokesperson also said that the company was “taking swift action” to remove AI Overview on certain queries “where appropriate under our content policies, and using these examples to develop broader improvements to our systems, some of which have already started to roll out.”


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    The post Google AI Overview Slammed For Inaccurate and Misleading Information appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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