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Alarming AI Blunder: Google Scales Back Search Answers After Telling Users to Eat Glue May 2024

Alarming AI Blunder: Google Scales Back Search Answers After Telling Users to Eat Glue May 2024

Google Scales Back AI Search Answers After It Told Users to Eat Glue

Google has found itself in a sticky situation—literally. Recently, the tech giant had to scale back its AI-generated answers in search results after an incident where the AI suggested users put glue on their pizza to make the cheese stick. This bizarre and concerning error has sparked a debate about the reliability of AI in search engines and the potential risks of deploying such technology prematurely.

Alarming AI Blunder: Google Scales Back Search Answers After Telling Users to Eat Glue May 2024

Background on AI in Search Engines

AI Overviews are part of Google’s effort to enhance the search experience by providing summarized answers to complex queries directly at the top of search results. The idea is to save users time by offering quick, informative responses derived from a multitude of sources across the web. This feature is a testament to how far AI technology has come, aiming to make information retrieval more efficient and user-friendly.

The Incident: AI Gone Wrong

The infamous glue incident is just one of several high-profile errors that  AI has made. In another instance, the AI falsely stated that Barack Obama was Muslim, a debunked conspiracy theory. These errors highlight the potential pitfalls of relying too heavily on AI for information dissemination without adequate safeguards and quality checks.

Google’s Response to the Incident

Following the backlash, Google quickly took action. Liz Reid, Google’s head of search, addressed the issue in a blog post, acknowledging the errors and outlining steps the company is taking to prevent future mishaps. Reid emphasized that the company is committed to refining its AI systems to ensure they provide accurate and helpful information.

Technical Changes Implemented by Google

In response to the errors, Google has made several technical changes to its AI systems:

  • Reduction in AI Overviews: Google has scaled back the frequency of AI-generated answers appearing in search results.
  • Restrictions on Sources: The AI will no longer rely heavily on social media posts and forums, which can often provide misleading or satirical information.
  • Pausing Health-Related AI Answers: Given the sensitive nature of health information, Google has paused AI-generated answers for certain health topics until it can ensure higher accuracy.

The Challenges of AI in Search

Training AI to understand and accurately respond to human queries is no small feat. One of the main challenges is the phenomenon known as “AI hallucinations,” where the AI generates plausible but incorrect information. These hallucinations occur because the AI models are trained on vast datasets that may include errors or biased information.

Impact on Users and Trust

The errors have undoubtedly shaken user confidence in Google’s AI capabilities. Trust is paramount when it comes to search engines, and any incident that undermines the reliability of the information provided can have significant repercussions. Users expect accurate, factual answers, especially for important topics like health and safety.

Comparison with Other AI Systems

Google is not alone in facing these challenges. Other tech companies, including OpenAI and Microsoft, have also encountered issues with their AI systems providing inaccurate or misleading information. These incidents underscore the need for robust validation processes and ongoing monitoring to ensure AI systems are performing correctly.

The Future of AI in Search Engines

Despite the setbacks, the future of AI in search engines remains promising. Google and other companies are continuously working to improve their AI models. Potential solutions include better training data, more sophisticated algorithms, and enhanced user feedback mechanisms to quickly identify and rectify errors.

Expert Opinions on AI Errors

AI experts acknowledge that errors are part of the learning process for AI systems. They argue that while AI can significantly enhance search capabilities, it requires constant refinement and oversight. The balance between pushing the boundaries of innovation and maintaining reliability is delicate but crucial.

Ethical Considerations

The ethical implications of AI errors are significant. Tech companies have a responsibility to ensure their AI systems do not disseminate harmful or misleading information. This includes implementing strong ethical guidelines and rigorous testing protocols before deploying new features.

User Education and Awareness

Educating users about the limitations of AI is also vital. Users should understand that while AI can provide valuable insights, it is not infallible. Google encourages users to report any errors they encounter, helping the company to continually improve its AI systems.

The Broader AI Revolution

The incident with  AI Overviews is part of a broader AI revolution happening across the tech industry. From customer service chatbots to advanced data analytics, AI is being integrated into various products and services, promising to transform how we interact with technology.

Google’s Continued AI Development

Google is not slowing down its AI development. At its recent I/O conference, the company announced over 100 AI-related updates and new features. These include enhancements to existing tools and the introduction of new AI capabilities designed to improve user experience and efficiency.


The incident where Google’s AI recommended putting glue on pizza has highlighted the challenges and risks associated with deploying AI in search engines. While the technology holds great promise, it is clear that significant work remains to be done to ensure its reliability and accuracy. Google’s swift response and ongoing efforts to refine its AI systems demonstrate a commitment to addressing these challenges and improving the user experience.


1. What is an AI Overview in Google search?

An AI Overview is a feature that provides summarized answers to complex queries directly at the top of Google search results, derived from various web sources.

2. How did Google’s AI make such errors?

The errors occurred due to AI “hallucinations,” where the AI generated plausible but incorrect information based on incomplete or biased training data.

3. What changes has Google made to improve AI Overviews?

Google has reduced the frequency of AI Overviews, restricted sources like social media posts, and paused AI answers on health-related topics to improve accuracy.

4. How can users report AI errors to Google?

Users can report AI errors directly through the search results interface, helping Google identify and rectify inaccuracies in its AI systems.

5. What does the future hold for AI in search engines?

The future of AI in search engines involves continuous improvement of AI models, better training data, sophisticated algorithms, and enhanced user feedback mechanisms to ensure reliability and accuracy.

References: Google News

Read more: Alitech Blog

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Zeeshan Ali Shah is a professional blog writer at AliTech Solutions, renowned for crafting engaging and informative content. He holds a degree from the University of Sindh, where he honed his expertise in technology. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech trends, Zeeshan’s writing provides valuable insights to his readers. His expertise in the tech industry makes him a sought-after writer, and his work at AliTech Solutions has earned him a reputation as a trusted and knowledgeable voice in the field.

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