A collective “oops” this week resonated across the tech world.
Bing made mistakes during their demo, just like Google Bard did, and none of us noticed.
Dmitri Brereton has a scathing story calling out what he observes Microsoft’s new chatbot making what he calls “even worse mistakes” than the ones Google Bard made.
No one noticed for a week. A week!
We all got caught up in the exciting ‘Microsoft is the underdog’ narrative — Satya Nadella has been very convincing.
Brereton noticed that in Microsoft’s official demos — I just took the below screenshot from Microsoft’s official video and it’s exactly the same as the one in his article — Bing made some pretty dumb factual errors.
24 minutes and 17 seconds into their announcement, Microsoft CMO Yusuf Medhi searched for a comparison of the three best pet vacuums.
“Take a look. Look how great this answer is,” he said at 23:14. Indeed, it’s a prolific and well-formatted answer. Some of it is accurate, but some of it is bullshit.
Wait, so thi handheld vacuum has a 16-foot cord? Aren’t handheld vacuums all cordless? Besides, 16-feet sounds pretty long to me, but what do I know about vacuums?
Brereton went and found the actual HGTV article referenced as Bing’s source in the above screenshot — and found Bing was entirely wrong about this poor Bissell.
That’s just the start: the other two are even worse.
While planning a trip to Mexico City, Bing provided completely made-up important information about nightlife, claiming one location had no reviews (when it in fact had over 500 reviews on... Google).
Worse still, Bing completely invented fake numbers when asked for a breakdown of Gap’s financial summary. Like, competely, absolutely, hallucinated numbers out of thin air. This is the most interesting since summarizing information seems to be something LLMs are very good at. Not so much this time (maybe it’s got something to do with chatbots being bad at math)
When Bard made mistakes during Google’s announcement, Alphabet lost $100 billion in market value.
Microsoft has far less to lose in search, since they have Excel to keep the rest of their business alive (only half kidding). For Google, AI is a necessity. For Microsoft, it’s an experiment.
In 2023, $MSFT stock has only moved in one direction: up and to the right.