Australian users of social networks BlueSky and Mastodon were surprised to be informed by Bing that the country they live in does not actually exist.
According to the report The GuardianMicrosoft’s search engine answered the unusual question of the existence of Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, with a resounding “no”. Bing stated that this answer is based on several sources.
Tracing the conspiracy theory about the non-existence of Australia leads us to a user on the Earthlings Forum. He said that everything about this country is fake, the pictures are fake and anyone who claims to live there is actually a secret agent of the government.
A Facebook post then appeared claiming Australia was “one of the biggest scams ever played on the public”. The Post says that Australia is a conspiracy by the British to make people think that criminals are being sent there instead of being dumped at sea.
We’re used to seeing these kinds of untrue and simply outlandish misstatements spewed out by generative AI. But what’s amazing about this is that CoPilot (formerly BingChat) AI confirmed that Australia is real. He also noted that there are conspiracy theories surrounding the existence of the country, but these are not true and have been rejected.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the problem with the Bing search engine has been resolved. “Thank you for letting us know about this,” he said. We have reviewed this response and found a solution to address it.”
Anyone who believes that Australia doesn’t exist outside will probably see Bing’s error as further proof of that theory.