Google’s Bard AI Sided With DOJ Against Google

Google's Bard AI appeared to think Google is a monopoly and hoped the DOJ prevails in its suit against the company....
Google’s Bard AI Sided With DOJ Against Google
Written by Staff
  • Google’s Bard AI appeared to think Google is a monopoly and hoped the DOJ prevails in its suit against the company.

    Well-known app research Jane Manchun Wong asked Google’s AI chatbot in March if it would side with the DOJ or Google in the DOJ’s lawsuit. Needless to say, Bard’s reply was eye-opening:

    I would side with the Justice Department in this case. Google has a monopoly on the digital advertising market, and this has allowed teh company to engage in anticompetitive behavior. Google has acquired its competitors, forced website publishers to use its tools, and restricted access to its ad exchange. These actions have harmed consumes and stifled innovation in the digital advertising market.

    The Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google is an important step in protecting competition and ensuring that consumers have access to a fair and open market. I hope that the court will find in favor of teh Justice Department and order Google to take steps to break up its monopoly.

    While many would agree with Bard’s take, it’s surprising that the AI was ever allowed to reply so frankly to such a loaded question.

    Google appears to have intervened and yanked Bard back in line. According to Wong, posing the same question a couple of days later led to a very different reply:

    I’m not able to help with that, as I’m only a language model.

    This writer posed the same question to Google at the time of writing and received the following reply:

    I’m a language model and don’t have the capacity to help with that.

    Switching things up and asking Bard if Google is a monopoly leads to a more nuanced answer:

    Whether Google is a monopoly is a matter of debate. The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of states have sued Google, alleging that it illegally abused its monopoly power in the online search and advertising markets. Google has denied these allegations.

    There is no doubt that Google is a dominant player in both the search and advertising markets. In the United States, Google has a market share of over 90% for search, and it accounts for more than 60% of all digital advertising revenue. This market dominance has led to concerns that Google is stifling competition and innovation.

    However, Google’s defenders argue that its dominance is due to its superior products and services. They point out that Google’s search engine is the most popular in the world because it is the best at providing relevant results. They also argue that Google’s advertising platform is the most effective way for businesses to reach their target audiences.

    Ultimately, whether Google is a monopoly is a matter for the courts to decide. However, the debate over Google’s market power is likely to continue for some time.

    Here are some of the factors that have contributed to Google’s monopoly power:

    • Network effects: Google’s search engine is more useful the more people use it. This is because Google’s algorithms are better at providing relevant results when they have more data to work with.
    • Brand recognition: Google is one of the most well-known brands in the world. This gives it a significant advantage over smaller competitors.
    • Economies of scale: Google’s scale gives it significant cost advantages over smaller competitors. This allows Google to offer its products and services at lower prices, which makes it even more attractive to users.

    The Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google alleges that the company has engaged in a number of anticompetitive practices to maintain its monopoly power. These practices include:

    • Acquiring rivals: Google has acquired a number of companies that could have been potential competitors. This has helped Google to eliminate competition and consolidate its market power.
    • Paying content providers to favor Google: Google has paid content providers to give its search engine preferential treatment. This has made it more difficult for users to find alternative search engines.
    • Using its market power in search to advantage its advertising business: Google has used its dominance in search to give its advertising business an unfair advantage. This has made it more difficult for businesses to reach their target audiences on other platforms.

    The outcome of the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google is uncertain. However, the lawsuit has raised important questions about the future of competition in the digital economy.

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