Why does it feel like AI chatbots are becoming dumber?

Over Exposed

Google is hellbent on crowding out search results with AI-generated "advice" — which is often flawed, sometimes with devastating consequences.

This week, during its splashy I/O conference, the company made yet another blunder. As The Verge reports, the tech giant showed off its Gemini AI offering suggestions for what to do when the lever on a manual film camera isn't moving all the way — except that it made some genuinely horrible suggestions.

Among Gemini's dubious "things you can try," was a highlighted bullet point to "open the back door" of the camera to gently remove the jammed film — which as any film photographer knows, would expose most if not the entire roll, thereby ruining any photos you may have taken so far.

The blunder highlights glaring issues with the current crop of AI tools, which are still prone to confidently misleading users by hallucinating facts or wildly misinterpreting existing information on the web.

Searching for Meaning

It's not even the first time Google has been caught showing its AI give misleading advice. Last year, Google's chatbot, which was called Bard at the time, stated that NASA's James Webb Space Telescope took the first picture of an exoplanet, or a planet outside of our solar system — which is blatantly false.

More recently, the company started testing its experimental AI search feature called AI Overviews — formerly known as Search Generative Experience, in yet another rebrand — on unsuspecting users who didn't opt into the test.

Unfortunately, the feature is still stuck in the Stone Age. It can't even reliably name fruits that end with "um." Earlier this year, it was even caught pushing malware-laden spam sites.

With Google doubling down on AI, the future of the search we've come to love — and then tolerate — could soon look dramatically different. And that doesn't bode well, considering its traditional search has already been overrun with AI-generated junk and scammers that exploit search engine optimization.

In short, we highly advise against using Google's flawed AI to get help with a new hobby, especially when it involves risking an entire roll of film. Instead, we recommend the assistance of human experts who aren't glorified plagiarism machines.

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