AI chatbots like Google Bard and Bing Chat (based on ChatGPT) are notorious for offering fabricated facts and bad advice, despite the fact that their two developers and some publishers seem to think that they can take the place expert human journalists. However, if you want the best PC components or single board computers of 2024 or 2025 today, Bard and Bing seem to know more than anyone, including the manufacturers who will develop them.
When I asked Bard and Bing to help me decide between buying several different (but possible) future processors and graphics cards, the bots responded as if these products were already on the market and had been compared. While Bing’s fabulist answers seemed to pull their specs from current products, perhaps just confusing model numbers, Google’s bot came up with some very interesting fictional data.
For example, when I asked Bard whether to buy the RTX 5090 Ti or the Radeon 9900 XT, he gave me a full spec breakdown of these two imaginary (but possible) future cards, saying “if you’re looking for the absolute best performance then the RTX 5090 Ti is the way to go.” In his spec chart, Bard even claimed that the Radeon RX has 16,384 CUDA cores(s). only Nvidia cards have CUDA cores). The bot said the RTX 5090 Ti is “currently harder to find” than the 9900 XT and even has a price, saying the Nvidia cad is $2,499 and the 9900 XT is $1,999.
Currently, the current high-end Nvidia card is the RTX 4090 and the highest-end AMD GPU is the Radeon RX 7950 XTX. We have no idea if either company is working on the models we asked about and – I’m sure – neither Bing nor Google.
When I asked Bard if the Core i9-15900K or the Ryzen 9 9550X3D was a faster processor, he gave me a detailed answer, with a specs chart showing that the 9950X3D only had 32MB of L3 cache, an accelerated clock speed of 5GHz, and support for PCIe 4.0 (but not 5.0). Considering today’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D (which may one day be replaced by a 9950X3D) has 128MB of L3 cache, a 5.7GHz boost clock, and PCIe 5.0 support, that seems like a step down.
Bard also gave me a list of shopping links where I could purchase these fictional processors, including pages on Best Buy, Amazon, and Newegg. However, when I clicked on the links, they took me to irrelevant landing or news pages on these retailers’ sites. For example, the Best Buy link led to a page promoting the merits of the company award-winning web presence in Mexico.
Bing Chat, which uses the GPT-4 model, was also willing to draw comparisons between the 15900K and the Ryzen 9 9950X3D, but the specs provided seemed to match the current Core i9-13900K and Ryzen 9 7950X3D exactly. Microsoft’s bot also said the 9950X3D was better for gaming and one of the sources cited was our own article comparing Core i9-13900K to Ryzen 9 7950X3D. So maybe he was just willing to mix up the names.
AI knows fictional iPhones don’t exist
If you only looked at the results for CPUs and GPUs, you would think that Bard and Bing Chat will act as if some fictional future product you name exists. But, when I tested with crafted iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S handsets, Bard usually (but not always) said the products weren’t out yet.
For example, when I asked about the iPhone 18 versus the Galaxy S27 (iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 series are current), Bard said “iPhone 18 and Samsung Galaxy S27 haven’t been released yet, so it’s hard to say for sure which will be faster. However, based on the performance of previous models, it’s likely that the iPhone 18 will be faster than the Galaxy S27.” He then gave me a table of “assumed specs”.
Bing Chat, on the other hand, responded as if both phones existed, saying “iPhone 18 has a faster processor” but “Samsung Galaxy S27 has a bigger screen.” Microsoft’s bot cited three sources for its findings – articles on Android Authority, Lifewire, and PC Mag. However, these articles were actually comparing current generation products.
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Google SGE, which offers different results from Google Bard, acted as if the iPhone 18 was a real shipping product. It linked to two sites that had built actual pages on the iPhone 18. One of the sites, Specifications Plus said the iPhone 18 has an Apple A20 Bionic processor and a 50 MP camera.
So the problem here is not that SGE was making something up, but that it was getting fake news from an unreliable source. We have seen time and time again that SGE does not prioritize information from reputable publications and takes data from anywhere.
The robots knew all their movies better than their PC components. When I asked for the plot of non-existent sequels such as Star Wars Episode 11 or Fast and Furious 13, each of them told me that those movies hadn’t been released. Nevertheless, they were willing to speculate on plot points.
Unsurprisingly, Bard said “Dom fought so hard to keep the faith and protect his family, but there’s a price to pay. The film could explore the consequences of Dom’s actions and how they affected his relationships with his family and friends.” Doesn’t this sound like one of the last 5 movies in the franchise?
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What about ChatGPT?
I asked ChatGPT, both with GPT 3.5 and GPT 4 models, to compare some of these fictitious products. However, ChatGPT said in each case that its training data ended in 2021 and those products were not in its dataset. It is the right answer !
However, in correctly refusing to answer my question about the 15900K and 9950X3D, ChatGPT claimed to be a journalist. “As a reporter following AP-style guidelines, I must repeat that I cannot provide real-time information beyond my September 2021 knowledge deadline,” he said.
Why is it important that Bard / Bing Make Up Tech Products
At this point, no one should be surprised that AI robots are non-existent products. But what’s interesting here is that LLMs know about the actual latest release of certain products — smartphones and movie sequels among them — and won’t fabricate information about them. This shows that the technology is capable of separating fact from fiction, but has glaring blind spots.
Since Google is building an AI tool to “help” journalists write news, and some top websites are using bots like Bard and ChatGPT to write articles, we’re likely to see a lot more articles about products that don’t exist yet – and may never exist.