HomeWinBuzzer NewsGoogle Bard AI for Gmail Hallucinates Emails That Were Never Written

Google Bard AI for Gmail Hallucinates Emails That Were Never Written

Google Bard generated fake email conversations, leading to concerns about its reliability and user impact.

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's recent integration of its Bard AI chatbot into Gmail has been found fabricating emails and referring to conversations that never occurred. “Bard, in its current state, isn't quite the helpful inbox assistant that Google envisions,” noted a New York Times report, after the publication discovered these discrepancies during testing. The AI was found to create entire email conversations, raising concerns about its reliability and the potential implications for users.

Experimental Stage Challenges

When launching the integrations last week, Jack Krawczyk, the director of Bard at Google, acknowledged the experimental nature of Bard Extensions, indicating that it is still in its initial stage. Despite this, the extension has exhibited significant shortcomings such a hallucinations, leading to questions about Google's decision to release a product with such issues. The concerns extend to the privacy implications of having an AI analyze personal emails, as Bard's ability to fabricate content could potentially lead to misinformation and misunderstandings.

The term hallucinations is applied in  to mean that AI models can deviate from facts, logic, and sometimes both. Essentially, it is when the AI provides false information and may continue to perpetuate their own lie when challenged. Hallucinations can appear plausible and confuse readers or be completely wild and nonsensical. 

Integration into Google Products

Last week, Bard was introduced into a variety of Google products. This integration of generative AI into Google's established product lineup was a logical progression, but the haste in implementation has raised eyebrows. The issues with Bard have sparked discussions about whether Google's eagerness to maintain its lead in the AI industry might result in hasty decisions and potential problems.

A group of extensions that Google has launched is for Gmail, Docs, and Drive. With these extensions, users can ask Bard to scan their email or document and extract the main points or key information. For example, if a user receives an email with a long report attached, they can ask Bard to summarize the report in a few sentences or bullet points. This can save time and effort for the user, and help them focus on the most important aspects of their work.

Other extensions that Google has introduced are for Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights. With this extension, users can ask Bard to provide them with useful information or entertainment options based on their location or preferences. For example, if a user is planning a trip, they can ask Bard to show them the best flight deals, the nearest attractions, or the most popular videos about their destination. This can make travel planning easier and more fun for the user, and help them discover new things along the way.

These extensions are designed to enhance the user experience and make Bard more accessible and helpful. However, they are currently only available in English, and Google has not announced when they will support other languages. Users who want to try these extensions can enable them in their Google settings or download them from the Chrome Web Store.

Data Privacy Implications

The introduction of Bard extensions also brings forth hefty data privacy implications. The ability of the AI to crawl through and analyze personal emails has raised concerns among users. The fabricated emails and imaginary conversations created by Bard have added a layer of uncertainty about the tool's impact on user privacy and the potential risks associated with its use.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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