Microsoft’s first AI-powered Bing demo did not go well
Bing's AI functionality made several errors that went under the radar
Following the reveal of a new AI-powered version of Bing last week, Microsoft held a demo event to show off exactly what the new tech could do. And while it impressed most viewers, it didn’t quite go as well as many had first thought.
As an engineer and self-styled AI researcher Dimitri Brereton outlined in a blog post, Bing’s new AI tool made several errors during the demo, not unlike the recent blunders made by Google’s AI engine, Bard, when it was shown off for the first time.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Bing blunder
🤨 Microsoft’s new AI-powered Bing isn’t off to a great start
🚫 The tool made several errors in its first promo demo
🔎 Most of them went undetected until now
😬 Google’s AI made similar faults last week
When asked to summarize the key points of clothing retailer Gap’s latest earnings report, for instance, it generated a bullet-point list riddled with inaccuracies: it overinflated Gap’s operating margin, wrongly said Gap projects net sales growth rather than a net drop in sales, and seems to pick several figures for other metrics out of thin air.
Essentially, it didn’t give a correct summary of the facts and was misleading in several cases. And it didn’t fare much better in the other demo questions.
When asked about the pros and cons of the top-selling pet vacuums, it wrongly describes one pick as having a “short cord length of 16 feet”, despite the model actually being totally cordless.
Later, asked to generate nightlife recommendations for a trip to Mexico City, it wrongly suggested a restaurant takes bookings online (when they only take them over the phone) and says some of the venues have “no ratings or reviews yet” online, despite several being available through Google (Bing’s competitor).
It’s not a good look for Microsoft. The company has already made a multi-billion dollar investment in ChatGPT, betting big on the nascent artificial intelligence industry, and although this new AI-powered Bing is still in its infancy and yet to roll out for full use, interested public users and investors won’t be dazzled by so many errors in its first outing.
Google’s parent company Alphabet lost $100 billion in market value when its AI tool Bard made similar errors in a promotional demo last week. At least Microsoft has gone several days without anyone noticing its blunders. Hopefully the new AI tools coming to Microsoft Teams don’t fare as badly.
You can check out the full demo for yourself in the video below. Who knows, maybe you’ll spot some more errors of your own.
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