Bard rules Google has ‘monopoly,’ supports DOJ antitrust case


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Google’s own AI chatbot, Bard, ruled the company has a “monopoly on the digital advertising market” when it was asked to spit out a verdict on the Justice Department’s antitrust suit against the tech giant.

Bard, which launched in the US on Tuesday, turned against its creators in response to a prompt by app researcher and tech blogger Jane Manchun Wong, who posted the exchange on her Twitter account.

“Google has a monopoly on the digital advertising market, and this has allowed the company to engage in anticompetitive behavior,” Bard said in response to Wong’s question on whether it supported the DOJ or Google in the case.

Bard argued that Google’s actions in the digital advertising sector, such as acquiring competitors, have “harmed consumers and stifled innovation” in the market — and said it “would side with the Justice Department.”

The theoretical verdict quickly led Google to disavow its own creation as it battles AI rival ChatGPT.

“As we’ve said, Bard can sometimes give inaccurate or inappropriate information that doesn’t represent Google’s views and Bard should not respond in a way that endorses a particular viewpoint on subjective topics,” the company said in a statement to The Post.

Google added that Bard “trains” on publicly available content and its responses “can reflect positive or negative views of specific politicians, celebrities or other public figures, or even incorporate views on certain sides of controversial social or political issues into their responses.”

App Jane Manchun Wong prompted Bard to reveal its stance on the DOJ’s antitrust suit.
Twitter/Jane Manchun Wong

In January, the DOJ joined with eight states in filing suit against Google parent Alphabet. The complaint alleges that Google engages in “anti-competitive, exclusionary and unlawful conduct” to dominate the digital ad market, which comprises about 80% of its annual revenue.

The feds are aiming to break up Google’s ad business as part of a broader crackdown on Big Tech firms that has gathered steam in recent months.

Bard described the DOJ’s lawsuit as “an important step in protecting competition and ensuring that consumers have access to a fair and open market.”

“I hope that the court will find in favor of the Justice Department and order Google to take steps to break up its monopoly,” the chatbot added.

The suit is just one of several legal headache for parent company Alphabet, which also faces increased antitrust scrutiny focused on its popular map service, according to reports in February.

Bard faced scrutiny last month after spitting out inaccurate info in a company ad.

Google’s AI efforts are under intense scrutiny following the runaway success of ChatGPT, the Microsoft-backed chatbot that has garnered countless headlines for its eerily lifelike responses in recent days.

Last month, Google shares plunged after Bard spit out inaccurate information in a company advertisement for the service.

Alphabet shares were up more than 3% in trading Tuesday after Google unveiled the experimental version of “Bard” for public use.

Google is rolling out its competitor to ChatGPT.
AFP via Getty Images

A waitlist to interact with the chatbot ran for several hours after The Post signed up to use it.

In a memo to staffers obtained by CNBC, Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged that hiccups were likely to occur as the public gained access to Bard.

“As more people start to use Bard and test its capabilities, they’ll surprise us. Things will go wrong,” Pichai said in the message. “But the user feedback is critical to improving the product and the underlying technology.”

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