Bing trouble: Google, OpenAI are opening up Pandora's bots

By Parmy Olson

16 Feb 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Google and Microsoft need to slow down the AI arms race, argues Bloomberg columnist Parmy Olson. Their revolutionary chatbots, she says, are too flawed for widespread use.

For a hot minute, Microsoft looked like it would eat Google's lunch. Its languishing search engine, Bing, was being revolutionized with a sophisticated new chatbot system from OpenAI. Those hopes have now diminished because of one unexpected truth: Nobody - not even AI scientists - truly understands the breadth of capabilities of artificial intelligence when it is unleashed in the wild.

Early users of Bing have reported unhinged, emotional, even threatening responses to some of their queries from the AI system, which called one user a "bad researcher" and told another newspaper writer that he was "not happily married." Bing - whose bot entity goes by the name Sydney - has effectively put Google's embarrassing Bard error in the shade. However, these flaws are just the tip of a much larger iceberg.

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