Elon Musk criticizes Google’s chatbot, calls for honesty in approach to AI safety

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind companies like SpaceX and Tesla, has taken aim at Google’s chatbot, Gemini, accusing artificial intelligence (AI) of mirroring the biases and mistakes of its creators.

In a recent tweet, Musk lambasted Google’s AI efforts, suggesting that the technology’s flaws were evident in Gemini’s generation of biased and unreliable data and images.

Expressing his disbelief, he posted, “The sheer insanity of that actual response from Google’s AI is staggering! They will fix it to be less obvious in the future, but the bias will still be in there. AI mirrors the mistakes of its creators. When people wonder how things might go wrong if AI controlled the world, this example clearly illustrates the point. The best approach to AI safety – in my opinion, the only approach that would work – is to be maximally truth-seeking. Honesty is the best policy”.

In another post Musk also accused Google and Facebook of political bias “Google and Facebook/Instagram have a strong political bias. Hard to say if they were the deciding factor in any given election, but they certainly put their thumb on the scale. That video of Google execs holding an all-hands struggle session after Trump won was disturbing.”

Musk went on to express his concerns about the potential consequences of AI controlling the world, emphasizing the importance of honesty and truth-seeking in AI development.

The criticism directed towards Gemini comes after Google decided to pause the chatbot’s image generation tool amid accusations of racism.

The chatbot faced backlash for being “too woke” and “racist,” prompting Google CEO Sundar Pichai to acknowledge the issue and admit that the company “got it wrong.”

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, also weighed in on the matter, highlighting the legal consequences faced by platforms that provide or describe illegal content.

Minister Chandrasekhar, tweeted, ”No platform offers absolute security or a free pass to illegal content. Platforms that provide or directly describe illegal content face legal consequences under existing laws (both criminal and technology laws).”

This controversy adds to the scrutiny surrounding Google’s AI products, with accusations of bias in queries related to Prime Minister Modi leading to a notice issued by the government.

While Google apologized for Gemini’s unreliable results, it claimed to have worked swiftly to address the issue.

The tech giant’s struggles in the AI arena have been exacerbated by setbacks in product rollouts, with Google’s parent company, Alphabet, experiencing a market value loss of over USD 100 billion in February 2023 due to inaccuracies in its Bard (now Gemini) chatbot ads.

The competition with OpenAI, especially since the launch of ChatGPT in 2022, has further intensified pressure on Google to deliver robust AI solutions.

As the debate surrounding AI ethics and accountability continues, Musk’s critique underscores the challenges faced by tech companies in ensuring the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence. 

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