Headline RoundupMay 24th, 2024

Google Search’s ‘AI Overviews’ Produce False and Potentially Dangerous Information

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Google’s recently-launched AI-powered overviews of search results faced widespread criticism this week over inaccurate and potentially harmful answers. 

‘Add glue to pizza sauce’: High-profile examples of AI mistakes included one result in which an AI overview responded to the query “cheese not sticking to pizza” with, “You can also add about ⅛ cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness.” This appeared to draw from an 11-year-old Reddit comment. Other AI results contained misinformation; in one case, it incorrectly said former President Barack Obama was Muslim, mistakenly drawing from the title of a book chapter on Muslims in America. 

Conflict of Interest? Online news outlets across the political spectrum — whose SEO-driven revenue models are threatened by Google Search’s AI overviews — piled onto the tech giant on Thursday and Friday, often highlighting that Google told people to “glue pizza and eat rocks.” Sensationalism was common; Salon (Left bias) said Google was “spewing inaccurate, dangerous answers,” and the New York Post (Lean Right bias) said Google was “being slammed as a ‘disaster.’” Regardless of the validity of Google’s critics, this unified slew of negative attention could reflect an incentive for online publishers to take down a threat to their bottom line. 

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