Glue cheese to pizza and eat rocks, says Google’s new AI feature as mistakes flood social media

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Google’s new search feature that uses AI to answer some users’ questions is facing criticism over its inaccurate responses, including telling users to eat rocks and mix pizza cheese with glue.

AI Overview rolled out across the US last week and became available to some users in the UK last month.

It is designed to make searching for information simpler but since the rollout, examples of erratic behaviour by the feature have flooded social media.

In one example, the artificial intelligence (AI) appeared to tell users to mix glue with cheese to make it stick to pizza. It even gave specifics: “You can also add about ⅛ cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness.”

That recommendation appears to have come from a joke Reddit post 11 years ago and should not be followed. Eating glue is dangerous.

Another response told users only 17 of the 42 US presidents were white. “I’m learning a lot about American history with Google’s AI Overview,” posted Bobby Allyn who spotted the blunder.

AI Overview also claimed former US president Barack Obama is Muslim. While President Obama was in office, there were multiple untrue conspiracy theories that he secretly practised Islam despite being a Christian.

Former spokesperson for President Obama Tommy Vietor posted the search result, saying sarcastically: “Google’s new AI overview search is off to a great start.”

In response to the question “what is the safe temperature for cooking chicken”, one user posted a result appearing to show Google’s answer as 38 degrees Celsius.

The safe temperature is actually 73.9 degrees Celsius and the chicken should be this temperature all the way through. Any lower and you risk getting a number of dangerous illnesses.

On the subject of things you shouldn’t eat, AI Overview also recommended a user eat “at least one small rock a day”, according to X user Heshiebee.

The response even cited “UC Berkeley geologists” as its source for the recommendation, saying rocks “contain vitamins and minerals that are important for digestive health”. It does come with a warning, however, that eating rocks “can be dangerous”.

To be clear, you shouldn’t eat rocks. Doing so could kill you.

However, Google says these answers aren’t representative of how the tool is working in general.

“The examples we’ve seen are generally very uncommon queries, and aren’t representative of most people’s experiences,” said a Google spokesperson to Sky News.

“The vast majority of AI Overviews provide high quality information, with links to dig deeper on the web. We conducted extensive testing before launching this new experience to ensure AI overviews meet our high bar for quality.

“Where there have been violations of our policies, we’ve taken action – and we’re also using these isolated examples as we continue to refine our systems overall.”

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