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Google's New AI Search Results Are Already Hallucinating — Telling Users to Eat Rocks and Make Pizza Sauce With Glue From pizza sauce recipes to fun facts, some AI search results need a fact-checker.

By Sherin Shibu Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • Google, the world's largest search engine with over 90% of global market share, began rolling out AI summaries last week.
  • Social media users have noted that the company's new AI overviews are already hallucinating, or getting important things wrong.
  • A Google spokesperson told Entrepreneur on Thursday that the inaccuracies "are generally very uncommon queries, and aren't representative of most people's experiences."

Searching on Google, the world's largest search engine with more than 90% of the global market, looks a little different now. Instead of a page of links to other sites, Google automatically generates an AI summary at the top of the page, citing a handful of select websites.

The changes were announced last week, with Google rolling out the AI summaries to its 250 million-plus monthly U.S. users. But now, some users are reporting the new tech is getting important information wrong.

Though Google said that early testers were more satisfied with AI overview search results, a wider audience has already spotted inaccuracies, or hallucinations, with the feature.

When an X user typed in a search query "cheese not sticking to pizza," Google's AI Overview answered, "You can also add about ⅛ cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness."

Google's source for the answer appears to be a Reddit post written 11 years ago.

"This example is funny, but there can be dangerous ones that aren't as obvious," wrote the X user who flagged the issue.

Google inked a deal with Reddit in February to train its AI. OpenAI signed a similar agreement with Reddit earlier this month.

A Google spokesperson told Entrepreneur on Thursday that the inaccuracies "are generally very uncommon queries, and aren't representative of most people's experiences."

"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," the spokesperson said.

But users have since found additional instances of AI overviews malfunctioning.

Related: OpenAI's New Deal Sees the ChatGPT Trailblazer Following a Competitor's Lead

Seattle-based AI researcher Dr. Margaret Mitchell also pointed out two AI hallucinations on X on Wednesday.

The first showed that Elon Musk went to UC Berkeley. At the time of writing, the error appears to be corrected.

The second showed that President Andrew Jackson, who died in 1845, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005.

President Andrew Johnson, who never went to school and taught himself how to read, earned 14 degrees from UW-Madison, according to the AI overview.

Entrepreneur verified that the second error was still present at the time of writing.

Multiple inaccuracies. Credit: Entrepreneur

Google's AI appears to draw from a 2016 UW-Madison alumni association article showing the graduation years of alumni with presidential names.

Related: Oh Great, AI Can Detect Sarcasm Now

The errors illustrate how AI could fail to pick up on nuance in training data and potentially amplify misinformation, especially when integrated into a widely used platform like Google.

Anastasia Kotsiubynska, Head of SEO at SE Ranking, foreshadowed the hallucinations in a remark shared with Entrepreneur last week.

"Most likely, there will still be misleading information in search results and hallucinations, and many users will probably use this information without double-checking," Kotsiubynska said at the time.

Related: Site Traffic Down? Here Are the Big AI Changes Google Made to Its Search Tool

Google could start testing ads within AI overviews "soon," the company announced Tuesday, adding another layer to its new AI search experience.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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