Google’s AI-Generated Search Results Keep Citing “The Onion”

In case you’re not familiar, The Onion is a digital media company that publishes satirical articles, parodying the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, and man-on-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. Unfortunately, Google’s AI-generated search results seems to think it’s a credible news source. For example, a Google search for the phrase “how many rocks should I eat each day” returned an AI-generated result citing University of California Berkley geologists, who suggest that people eat at least one small rock a day. It turns out that the actual source of the information was a 2021 article from The Onion. The problem is that artificial intelligence can’t seem to tell the difference between news and satire. People have started using this feature in their day-to-day lives and are getting some pretty unexpected results. Most of them are sharing their experiences on social media, highlighting how the new feature has some shortcomings. In one instance, Google's AI search told a user to put glue on their pizza to help the cheese stick to the base. To say it’s been a rough start for Google’s AI-generated search program would be an understatement.