JEFF CAPLAN'S AFTERNOON NEWS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: You can’t trust Google search anymore

Jun 7, 2024, 6:00 AM

Google has damaged itself with it's rollout of AI-assisted searches, argues KSL NewsRadio's afterno...

Google has damaged itself with it's rollout of AI-assisted searches, argues KSL NewsRadio's afternoon host, Jeff Caplan (Richard Drew, Associated Press)

(Richard Drew, Associated Press)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Google is pretty simple, you search, you find.  Why would they mess with this buzillion dollar business?

But they have. Google is trying to keep up with the Joneses by inflicting AI on the world.

Now when you search, you might see a paragraph at the top of your search results.  It’s usually a large and different font that stands out to say, “look at us. We are Google. We have Artificial Intelligence. Our life-like machines have combed the entire universe to craft a precise answer to your question.”  

Well, sometimes.

Except when you search Google for, “how many rocks should you eat per day?” It answers “one rock.”  Because it combed through an article in the Onion, a satire website.

Google’s AI Overview, which is what they call it, also responded “to pass a kidney stone you should drink two quarts of urine every 24 hours.” 

Wherefore art thou, Google search?

This is Google, which we used to trust for answers.  Now you can’t. You absolutely have to click on the listed links and read for yourself.

Because if you take them at their word, you’ll end up treating a kidney stone with a cocktail you’ll never forget. 

The good news? After Google’s pizza recipe recommended glue as an ingredient they’ve rolled back AI Overview. And you’ll only see it at the top of the results in one out of every six searches.

The problem remains that trust is earned.  

And if you’re worried that someday AI will take over the world and destroy humanity? This is how it begins. With hapless humans eating rocks and glue.

Care for a drink?

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: You can’t trust Google search anymore