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Google's Bard chatbot AI gets its facts wrong about the James Webb Space Telescope

Earlier this week, Google surprised many people when it announced its own Bard AI chatbot. However, the company's blog post that showed an example of Bard in action didn't provide a correct fact for a question about the the James Webb Space Telescope, which went online in 2022.

An answer to a question that was given by the Google Bard AI chatbot

The blog post showed the answers the Bard chatbot gave when asked this question: "What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?" Bard gave a few answers, including that it had taken "the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system.”

That answer was flat out wrong. As pointed out by astrophysicist Grant Tremblay and others on Twitter, the first picture of an exoplanet was in fact taken way back in 2004 by the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Tremblay also pointed out that a normal Google search comes up with the correct answer.

Google has already said it plans to test Bard internally for a while before it is released to the general public. Indeed, the company's CEO Sundar Pichai sent a company-wide email this week asking for all employees to test out Bard and send in feedback. It looks like there will be a lot of work to do before Bard is unleashed for Google searches. Meanwhile, Microsoft is already opening testing its Bing chatbot, powered by technology developed by OpenAI, that's also used for its own ChatGPT.

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