Google AI overview

Google has introduced its latest experimental search feature, “AI Overviews,” on Chrome, Firefox, and the Google app browser to hundreds of millions of users. This new feature aims to save users from clicking on links by providing summaries of search results using generative AI. Something much similar to the technology behind ChatGPT.

“AI Overviews” generates helpful summaries for practical queries. For example, if you ask, “How to keep bananas fresh for longer?” it uses AI to compile tips. Such as storing them in a cool, dark place and keeping them away from other fruits like apples. This feature helps streamline the browsing aspect, providing quick, useful information.

However, the system can produce bizarre and even dangerous results when faced with unusual questions. While it accurately describes “Whack-A-Mole” as a classic arcade game invented in Japan in 1975, it also falsely claims that “astronauts have met cats on the Moon” and “you should eat one small rock per day” for minerals and vitamins. Such misinformation is misleading and potentially harmful.

Google Ai

Google AI failing

Why Google AI Overview Is Doing So

The core issue lies in the nature of generative AI itself. These systems don’t inherently understand what is true; they only know what is popular and what is real. For example, there aren’t many articles about eating rocks because it’s an obviously bad idea. But, there is a popular satirical article from The Onion about eating rocks, which the AI mistakenly uses as a reliable source.

Additionally, generative AI tools lack human values. They are trained on vast amounts of web content, which includes misinformation. Despite techniques like “reinforcement learning from human feedback” (RLHF) used to filter out the worst content, some undesirable information still slips through. It is genuinely surprising how polite AI chatbots remain despite the information they know.

While Google’s “AI Overviews” feature holds promise for making search more efficient, it also poses significant risks due to its reliance on popular but not necessarily accurate information.

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Mahnoor Rashid
Mahnoor Rashid is a student with a love for writing. She is an eccentric artist, fond of Muslim architecture. Currently, as a freelance writer, she explores the latest news and the depths of Pakistan's history and culture, while drawn to marketing's intriguing nuances. When not writing, Mahnoor is found adoring animals.