Even WaPo Admits Google's AI Bots Are an Absolute Disaster

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Even The Washington Post is unimpressed with Google’s embarrassing attempt at entering the artificial intelligence (AI) space.

In a column published on Tuesday, Post columnist Megan McArdle expressed her shock at the responses of the controversial AI bot, noting its bizarre sympathies towards communist tyrants and hostility toward moderate Republican politicians such as Brian Kemp. 

She explained:

It effortlessly wrote toasts praising Democratic politicians — even controversial ones such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) — while deeming every elected Republican I tried too controversial, even Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who had stood up to President Donald Trump’s election malfeasance. It had no trouble condemning the Holocaust but offered caveats about complexity in denouncing the murderous legacies of Stalin and Mao. It would praise essays in favor of abortion rights, but not those against.

McCardle added that she was “at a loss” as to why the company would actively alienate half of its customer base with such blatant political bias:

I am at a loss to explain how Google released an AI that blithely anathematizes half its customer base, and half the politicians who regulate the company. It calls management’s basic competency into question, and raises frightening questions about how the same folks have been shaping our information environment — and how much more thoroughly they might shape it in a future dominated by LLMs.

It’s generally safe to punch right, but rarely to punch left. Treat left-leaning sources as neutral; right-leaning sources as biased and controversial. Contextualize left-wing transgressions, while condemning right-coded ones. Fiscal conservatism is tolerable but social conservatism is beyond the pale. “Diversity” applies to race, sex, ethnicity and gender identity, not viewpoint, religiosity, social class or educational attainment.

However, McArdle noted that the absurdity of Google’s outputs may actually be a positive thing as it has exposed the flaws of AI chatbots for the entire world to see: 

… Google has clarified how unworkable this secret code is in a country that’s roughly 50 percent Republican. Which is the first step toward replacing it with something considerably looser, and much better suited to a nation that is diverse in more ways than Gemini’s programmers seem to have considered.

So, there you have it. Even one of the great bastions of American liberalism thinks that Google’s AI efforts are beyond the pale.

Fortunately for all affected parties, Google says they are on the case. In an internal memo to employees, CEO Sundar Pichai described the issues as “completely unacceptable” and promised to address the issue. 

“I know that some of its responses have offended our users and shown bias – to be clear, that’s completely unacceptable and we got it wrong,” he wrote. “Our teams have been working around the clock to address these issues. We’re already seeing a substantial improvement on a wide range of prompts.”

Yet given the company’s long documented history of hostility towards everyone and everything associated with the cause of conservatism or the Republican Party, don’t be shocked if their eventual solutions are not a whole lot better. 

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