It's all gone to shit

Breaking Bard

image of 2M1207 and Giant Planet Candidate Companion European Southern Observatory
A brown dwarf (centre)—which isn't brown—with candidate exoplanet—which is…kinda (eso0428, 10.09.2004).

Google managed to wipe more than 7% off its stock value when its new AI platform, Bard, didn't perform as well as might've been expected in a recent demonstration. Asked what it could tell a nine-year-old about the James Webb Space Telescope's discoveries, it responded with it being the first to take pictures of a planet outside the earth's solar system.

Astronomers were aghast, for that discovery had been made all the way back in 2004 by the European Very Large Telescope.* So they took to Twitter to make the error known, and now the people at Google who like to count beans have 100 billion less of them. Oh well; easy come, easy go. (shrug)

More importantly, all of this is new to me. To think that almost twenty years have passed since the EVLT's momentous discovery, and I've remained blissfully ignorant of any planets having been found outside our solar system at all. Verily, you live 'n' learn.

And all thanks to Bard being not very good. BA‑DUM‑TSS

It occurs to me that, if $100bn represents more than 7%—but presumably less than 8%—of its stock market value, then Google must be valued at over $1.2tn. Which seems quite ludicrous for a company that can't even detect my language preferences. (SMH)

* We Europeans are nothing if not creative when it comes to naming things. While the European Extremely Large Telescope is currently under construction in Chile (true)—which is nowhere near Europe, as it happens! (also true)—it's rumoured that the European Bloody Enormous Telescope and the European Now Just Compensating Telescope are in the planning stages. And remember, kids, you read it here first!

Americans name things after achievers, but getting consensus in Europe isn't easy. The French would want it named after a French scientist; the Dutch wouldn't want it named in honour of a German scientist; and the Italians don't care, as long as she has big boobies.