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Google's glitched debut of AI chatbot Bard sent stock value plummeting by $100B before recovering

Share of Google parent company Apple dropped by as much a 9% after Bard gave an incorrect answer about the Webb telescope.

Published: February 8, 2023 3:01pm

Updated: February 9, 2023 11:32am

The stock value of Google parent company Alphabet on Wednesday was down as much as $100 billion in after its supposedly intuitive AI chatbot Bard answered a question inaccurately in an advertisement. 

Alphabet shares had slid as much as 9% before balancing out by the close of trading.

The tech giant posted a tweet promoting Bard as a "launchpad for curiosity" that could simplify complex topics into bulleted, digestible language. 

The advertisement showcased the AI in action in a GIF video. Bard seemed to glitch when asked: "What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?”

One of the three responses was inaccurate, stating the telescope took the first pictures of a planet outside the Earth's solar system, or exoplanets.

The first pictures of exoplanets were taken in 2004 by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, according to NASA.  

The ad showcasing Bard’s mistake has been viewed over 1 million times.  

"This is a hiccup here and they’re severely punishing the stock for it, which is justified because obviously everybody is pretty excited to see what Google’s going to counter with Microsoft coming out with a pretty decent product," Dennis Dick, founder and market structure analyst at Triple D Trading told Reuters.

The value of Alphabet shares dropped 7.8% Wednesday.

The mistake was noticed hours before Google hosted a launch for Bard in Paris. At the event, senior executive Prabhakar Raghavan promised users would interact with the technology in “entirely new ways” the wire service also reports

The launch follows Microsoft's announcement of plans to integrate ChatGPT, Google's rival, into its Bing search engine and products.

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