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Google removes AI mistaken answer that said Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States

Google removes AI mistaken answer that said Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States


Google said on Friday it had removed an incorrect answer from its new artificial intelligence feature that said Barack Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States.

The search engine's AI overview summary provided the answer when users asked, “How many Muslim presidents has the United States had?”

The issue was highlighted by a user at X and reproduced by The National.

“This particular summary violated our policies and has been removed,” a Google representative said in an email to The National.

But when The National entered the same query without the question mark, the new AI overview correctly showed that the United States has never had a Muslim president.

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, is not a Muslim but is a Christian, although racist right-wing conspiracy theorists have long claimed he is secretly a Muslim.

Google announced last week that it would roll out its AI-generated summary search results, called “AI Overview,” in the US after a trial period in the UK.

This screenshot shows how Google AI incorrectly answered a question about a Muslim US president. Photo: X

Most of the AI ​​overviews provide high-quality information with links to dig deeper on the web, Google representatives said.

Before releasing this new experience, as with any feature we release in Search, we conducted extensive testing.

Generative AI summaries are created and customized by machine learning models that draw on information from sources already on the internet and from Google's Knowledge Graph, a collection of related information assigned to specific keywords or topics for search engine results.

The erroneous AI summary search result claiming Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States uses as its source a chapter in the book “Barack Hussein Obama: America's First Muslim President,” published by Oxford University Press.

They also looked at a Wikipedia page on the religious affiliations of US presidents, which references conspiracy theories that Obama is Muslim.

The new generated AI summaries now appear at the top of the page when a user types a query or searches a keyword, above featured snippets, sponsored ads, and relevant web results.

US social media users have also posted other shocking or false AI overview results, such as geologists saying humans should eat one rock a day and an article claiming that putting glue on pizza makes the cheese stickier.

Google representatives argued that these examples were unusual queries, and that some of the experiences shared online were doctored and could not be reproduced.

The company acts swiftly where appropriate under its content policies and is using these examples to drive broader improvements to its systems, some of which have already been rolled out, the person added.

Google said it makes thousands of improvements to its search engine every year and continues to fix inaccuracies and issues that arise.

The company also has an evaluation process and testing system to ensure that AI summary results meet quality and safety standards.

Updated: May 24, 2024 9:28 PM




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