Google Responds To AI Overview, Reveals Dangerous Answers To Queries

Google's AI Overview is making the company look a little careless -- and it's too early to tell if these types of glitches will cause advertisers to at least temporarily pull back on buying ad units across its platforms. 

The generative artificial intelligence (GAI) technology, previously called Search Generative Experience, was unveiled earlier this month at the Google I/O developer conference.

Users have found that the technology displays some misleading and dangerous information. MediaDailyNews traced at least part of one dangerous piece of information that appeared to come directly from Reddit.

The results in that example advised users to cook with glue. Others suggested eating rocks, and running with scissors.

 "The vast majority of AI Overviews provide high quality information, with links to dig deeper on the web," a Google spokesperson said. "Many of the examples we’ve seen have been uncommon queries, and we’ve also seen examples that were doctored or that we couldn’t reproduce."



The spokesperson said Google has conducted extensive testing before launching this new experience, and as with other features launched in Search, it always appreciates the feedback.

"We're taking swift action where appropriate under our content policies, and using these examples to develop broader improvements to our systems, some of which have already started to roll out," the spokesperson said.

The advice to cook with glue appears to have originated from an 11-year-old post on Reddit. The GAI search technology appears to have picked up the suggestion from the Reddit post suggesting that a mixture of one-eighth cup of non-toxic glue with pizza sauce will help the cheese stick and add extra tackiness.

On Thursday, another Redditor -- who obviously wanted to take the prank a step further -- wrote that the first commenter got it wrong, and recommended doubling the amount of glue to one-quarter cup instead.

Google has access to Reddit's Data API, which delivers real-time, structured, unique content from its large and dynamic platform, at least since February.

This expanded partnership does not change Google's use of publicly available, crawlable content for indexing, training, or display in Google products, the company said at the time.

A disclaimer at the bottom of every answer Google serves up reads “Generative AI is experimental,” but the company may see lawsuits coming unless it steps up and takes responsibility for the content it serves up online.

Google doesn't weigh individual specific sites so they appear more often in AI Overviews. With AI overviews, the company aims to surface helpful, high quality information, including a range of first-hand perspectives for relevant queries. There is high quality and low quality content across all content types, including user-generated forum and discussion content. 

In a continuous effort to fine-tune search, many other queries floating around the web and on social media were difficult to replicate. Inaccurate results that went viral — including one about Obama or putting glue on pizza — no longer display an AI summary, according to Forbes.

Some results from queries, per Forbes, failed to “acknowledge countries in Africa starting with K and suggesting pythons are mammals.”

Safety guardrails have been put in place and continually improved on. Google Trends data queries like cheese not sticking to pizza are extremely rare examples that have not been commonly searched and have just started gaining search interest due to these social media posts.

The custom integration of GAI into search rooted in Google's core ranking and quality systems will continue to be updated as it has been for decades.

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