As Smoke Fills the Sky, Google's New AI Gives Wildly Inaccurate Info on Air Quality

If you’re looking for real-time updates on public health data, don’t trust Google’s AI-powered search just yet. Air quality across the Midwest and Northeast has been abysmal this week, the result of roaring and widespread wildfires in Canada. Multiple major cities, including New York City and Philadelphia, have issued alerts asking residents to limit outdoor activity, while entire states like North Carolina are under advisory. The air quality index (AQI) has soared, rising in parts of New York City to dangerous levels. Google’s regular search easily brings up websites providing up-to-date AQI information. But if you ask the company’s experimental new AI-powered search tool, Search Generative Experience (SGE), it’s been providing wildly incorrect info. SGE is Google Search’s foray into the AI world, adding an AI-generated “snapshot” at the top of search results. At the time of writing, you still have to join a waitlist to try it out for yourself. We have access, though. And when we asked SGE about the AQI, we received misleading and entirely incorrect answers, highlighting grave flaws in the AI-infused search feature that¬†could easily lead to confusion during times of public health crisis. Take, for example, responses to the search “Brooklyn AQI,” a phrase that many Google users would likely type into their search bar when looking for a daily air quality update.¬†Instead of expressing the danger, it told us that the air quality in Brooklyn was “good,” providing an out-of-date figure that was far lower than the actual figure. To its credit, the…As Smoke Fills the Sky, Google's New AI Gives Wildly Inaccurate Info on Air Quality

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *