Google Bard accused of plagiarism as publishers fight back against AI chatbots
AI chatbots are becoming controversy magnets for one reason or anotherBy Kishalaya Kundu 9 comments
In a nutshell: In yet another example of questionable sourcing practices by an AI chatbot, Google's Bard has been accused of plagiarizing an article from Tom's Hardware. According to the site's editor-in-chief Avram Piltch, Bard copied data from one of its recent articles without citation. Curiously enough, the chatbot eventually apologized for its action when Piltch pointed out the plagiarism.
According to Piltch, the issue came to light when he asked Bard about the performance of Intel's Core i9-13900K and AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D. When asked which is faster, the chatbot said the latter is faster in gaming, and went on to state that "In our testing, the $699 Ryzen 9 7950X3D is 12% faster than the $589 Core i9-13900K at 1080p gaming at stock settings, and 9% faster when the chips are overclocked."
Not only was the data set lifted directly from the Tom's article, the entire sentence was a thinly reworked version of the original. Despite deriving its information from Tom's Hardware, Bard failed to attribute the quote to the original article and instead, made it seem as though the data was from testing conducted by Google.
Aside from the plagiarism charges, Piltch also pointed out that Bard's reply was incomplete at best and misleading at worst. While Google's chatbot stated that the AMD processor was faster than the Intel chip at gaming, Tom's found that the Intel chip was better in most productivity apps.
Overall, Tom's recommended that people choose the cheaper Intel chip over the AMD CPU unless gaming is the number one priority. Bard missed all the finer nuances of the comparison, and ended up highlighting only the gaming aspect of the two chips, thereby offering an incomplete analysis.
Plagiarism by an AI chatbot is nothing new. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google Bard has a habit of serving up answers without providing links to sources.
As an example, the publication recounted that in a recent demo, the chatbot offered a summary of many news stories from The New York Times, but failed to link to any of the stories it summarized. Instead, it just ended its response with a generic endorsement of the newspaper, saying "For more on these and other stories, please visit the NYT website."
Such incidents have added to the growing sense of unease among writers and online publishers. Some are fearful that if chatbots continue scraping their content without accreditation, it could reduce traffic to their websites and shrink ad revenues. Website owners and online publishers have also been up in arms against tech companies like OpenAI, Microsoft and Google for using their content to train AI chatbots like ChatGPT without any compensation.
Image Credit: Tom's Hardware