Angry Google employees ridiculed CEO Sundar Pichai on internal message boards over the tech giant’s botched handling of a crucial rollout for its “Bard” AI chatbot this week.
The much-hyped rival to the the popular Microsoft-backed ChatGPT chatbot, which is seen as a potential threat to Google’s search engine dominance, flubbed an answer during Monday’s presentation.
In posts on Google’s internal forum “Memegen,” workers described the troubled launch as “rushed,” “botched” and “un-Googley,” according to CNBC, which viewed some of the messages.
“Dear Sundar, the Bard launch and the layoffs were rushed, botched, and myopic. Please return to taking a long-term outlook,” one user captioned a meme featuring a photo of Pichai looking serious, according to the outlet.
“Rushing Bard to market in a panic validated the market’s fear about us,” an employee wrote in another post.
Shares of Google parent Alphabet have plunged about 7% since Monday – at one point losing $100 billion in market value in a single day – as the company’s launch drew a skeptical response from investors.
The posts on Memegen included a meme showing a dumpster fire with Google’s logo on the side and the caption: “How everything’s felt since last year.”
Another post made reference to Alphabet’s widely criticized decision last month to lay off about 12,000 workers, or more than 6% of its overall workforce. Pichai said the layoffs were necessary due to worsening economic conditions and would better position Google to pursue development of AI technology and other priorities.
“Firing 12k people rises the stock by 3%, one rushed AI presentation drops it by 8%,” said the meme, which featured a photo of actor Nicholas Cage with a smile on his face.
The Post has reached out to Google for comment on the internal backlash.
Earlier this week, analysts noted that Google’s unveiling of Bard was short on details about how the company planned to integrate the chatbot into its search engine. Microsoft has already rolled out a ChatGPT integration for its “Bing” browser.
CNBC noted that some Google employees were unaware of the Paris event before it occurred.
During the event, Bard gave a wrong answer to a query included in the company ad showcasing how the chatbot functions.
The example included in the gif video showed a user asking Bard, “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?”
The chatbot responded by claiming that JWST was “used to take the very first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system.” The answer was inaccurate. The first pictures of so-called “exoplanets” were actually taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004.
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