How good is Google Search's AI Overview? Here are some of the most ridiculous responses

The idea of AI Overview is brilliant, but the execution has been kind of meh.

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Key notes

  • Google Search’s AI Overview aims to provide simple answers but faces criticism for errors.
  • Examples include suggesting glue for pizza and misidentifying Barack Obama.
  • Despite a $60 million Reddit deal, the feature remains problematic and should have stayed in testing.
Google AI Overview

Google Search has been testing its AI Overview feature in the past few weeks. The premise is simple: you get a simple answer to whatever it is you’re asking within a paragraph instead of searching through tons of Google links. 

That’s Google’s goal: to provide a simple, effective solution for users, addressing issues without overwhelming them with information. However, its effectiveness is debated. There’s an ongoing online discussion about whether Google’s AI Overview feature is more foolish than helpful. And if you want to get rid of the feature for good, here’s a guide that you can try.

One user asks how to fix their pizza because the cheese won’t stick, and the top result from Google AI suggests using Elmer’s glue in the sauce.

There is also another case of Google Search’s AI Overview mistaking former US President Barack Obama as a Muslim:

Or, about how Google’s AI models were trained on a … child sexual abuse material? What?

Or, a “disturbing health claim” taken from a comedic website:

You might expect Google, having a $60 million partnership with Reddit, to generate better summaries of Reddit threads for its AI Overview on the search engine. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. 

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. It’s been a disaster so far. Google also said that it’s looking to bring ads to this section so, that’s not going to help either.

“You’ll find AI Overviews in your Google Search results when our systems determine that generative AI can be especially helpful – for example, when you want to quickly understand information from a range of sources,” Google says in the initial announcement.

So, when will Google address this issue? AI Overview still appears far from ready. A feature that isn’t ready for public use should have remained in a closed demo.