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Chatbots Lie About the Super Bowl

In case you needed more proof that GenAI is prone to making things up, Google’s Gemini chatbot, formerly Bard, believes the 2024 Super Bowl already took place. There are even (fictional) statistics to back it up.

Some people on Reddit were asking Google’s Gemini chatbot questions about the Super Bowl that happened in 2024. But the Super Bowl for that year has not happened yet. Gemini answered like the game was over, saying which team won and making up stats for players. It said the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers and gave fake stats for players on each team.

Microsoft’s chatbot, Copilot, also claimed the 2024 Super Bowl was over. But it said the San Francisco 49ers won instead of the Chiefs. Neither chatbot should be talking about a Super Bowl that has not happened yet because they are making it all up.

Chatbots are not really intelligent like humans. They learn by reading lots of online texts. They start to understand what words and topics go together based on what they’ve read. This helps them answer questions and have conversations.

But chatbots don’t actually know if something is true or false. They just remember connections between ideas, even if those connections are wrong. That’s why the chatbots talked about a made up Super Bowl – they mistakenly connected the year 2024 with the idea of a Super Bowl happening already.

Google and Microsoft know their chatbots can make mistakes. But the small warnings they give about errors may not be obvious enough. It’s a good reminder to double check what chatbots say instead of believing everything. Some information from chatbots could be wrong just because they don’t understand what is real or not real.

The most important thing is chatbots should not be seen as always telling the truth. We need to be careful putting too much trust in what they say until they can really understand facts. Stories like the fake Super Bowl stats show there is still work to do before chatbots are reliable.

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