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Sorry Apple fans, Bard doesn't really think iOS is better than Android

It seems like Google's chatbot can erroneously take the order of your words into account.

Published onJune 28, 2023

Stock photo of Google Bard website on phone 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • A tweet and news story suggest Google Bard favors iOS over Android.
  • However, we were able to get Bard to say that it prefers Android over iOS.
  • It seems like the order of words in a prompt could affect the answer.

Android versus iOS is one of the most contentious questions in the tech space, as there are hordes of passionate fans on either side of the aisle. Now, a viral tweet has suggested that Google’s Bard chatbot has seemingly taken Apple’s side in this debate. But the truth is more complicated than that, and illustrates the shortcomings of AI chatbots today.

Twitter user Junaid Abdurahman discovered that Bard apparently preferred iOS over Android when the question was posed to it. “Do you prefer iOS or Android?” the user asked, with Bard responding that it preferred Apple’s platform. This resulted in one Apple-focused website declaring that Bard has “picked a winner.”

We were able to replicate this answer when posing the same question. However, we were also able to get Bard to choose Android by simply switching the two platforms around in the prompt (i.e. “Do you prefer Android or iOS”). Check out the screenshots below.

Why are we getting different answers?

We’re not 100% sure why this is happening, but we also noticed this when asking Bard whether it preferred DC or Marvel. “Do you prefer DC or Marvel” resulted in Bard saying it preferred DC, whereas asking whether it preferred “Marvel or DC” resulted in the chatbot leaning towards Marvel.

Do you trust answers from chatbots?

285 votes

In saying so, the order doesn’t seem to matter for some topics. For example, asking Bard whether it preferred “Mac or Windows” or “Windows or Mac” always resulted in it saying it preferred Apple’s platform. We also swapped out Mac for Chrome OS, but Bard insisted that it couldn’t help. Just for giggles, we asked whether Bard preferred Android or Symbian. Fortunately, sanity prevailed and it chose Android no matter the order.

We already knew that slight changes to a prompt can result in wildly different answers. But this turn of events suggests Bard can erroneously take the order of words in a prompt into account when trying to answer a comparison-related question with no clear-cut correct answer. On the plus side, we’re glad to see Google didn’t attempt to give its own products an advantage with this question.