Despite the rapid rise in popularity of chatbots based on neural networks, such as ChatGPT from OpenAI or Bard from Google, at this stage these algorithms have many disadvantages, including those related to privacy. This claim is proven by the appearance of links to user chats with the company’s AI bot in Google search results.
Researcher Gagan Ghotra was one of the first to notice that links to user chats with the Bard bot were appearing on Google’s search engine. By clicking on one of these links, you can see the history of communication between a given user and the AI algorithm. Although the data of the users themselves in the conversations are not indicated, the messages may also contain some confidential information, about which the researcher hastened to warn users by publishing a message on the X social network.
Peter Liu, a researcher at Google-owned DeepMind AI, tried to play down the situation, saying the search results included links to chats of users who used the “Share” feature, which could be used to show the results of communicating with someone else’s bot. However, this explanation did not satisfy users and was criticized. Many believed that even when the “Share” function was used, people wanted to give the results of their communication with Bard to some specific person, not to make them publicly available on the Internet.
The problem is compounded by the fact that AI bot indexing chats is different from the way the Share feature works in other company products, such as Google Docs or Google Drive. Additionally, with Google enterprise products, there is a warning that sharing content with people outside the domain of the user’s organization can be dangerous. In the case of Bard, however, no notification appears that the results of communication with the bot will be indexed and made publicly available.
After all, Google has apparently acknowledged the problem and is now working on a solution. Bard allows people to share chats if they choose. We also do not plan for these chats to be indexed by the Google search engine. We are now working on blocking them from indexing,” said Danny Sullivan, Google’s public affairs representative.