Home Google denies Sonic tribute riddled with errors was made by AI

Google denies Sonic tribute riddled with errors was made by AI

Google recently paid tribute to Sonic the Hedgehog on X, only to apologize for making bizarre errors, which they claimed were not due to AI.

The official Google Play X account took it upon itself to create an impromptu Sonic The Hedgehog appreciation thread. Their aim was apparently to show Sonic as “he gets older and older,” which is logical given there are quite a few Sonic games on its Play Store.

However, the thread, which sporadically covers the blue creature’s evolution from 1991 to 2022, sparked a wave of corrections as it cited incorrect years and strange inaccuracies. While the original post has since been deleted, there are still users commenting on the wild posts.

In one instance, a picture of Sonic from 2014 was mistakenly labeled as being from 1993, and the caption alongside it made no sense. Consequently, the thread is now filled with community comments criticizing the social media account for its numerous factual errors.

“2018 Sonic,” stated Google, “weirdly looked like 90’s Sonic.” The image was actually a screenshot from the original 1991 game. When posting an image from the Sonic movie, Google claimed that it came from the 2020 film. However, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the frame came from the second Sonic the Hedgehog film which came out on 2022.

Fans even speculated whether AI was involved in creating the peculiar thread, especially since one of the images appeared to be poorly altered to remove background characters.

The final word on this entire debacle came from the official Sonic account itself, which responded to Google with a simple question: “What are you doing?”

Google claims Sonic posts were not AI

A Google representative told Android Police: “Our team got it wrong, and we are sorry for the errors.” However, the tech giant denied that the mistakes in the thread were the work of AI. The company also claimed that this was a human oversight. AI has been known to hallucinate content, hence it isn’t surprising that users were quick to claim it was written by a bot.

Some have suggested that this could be considered the most effective engagement bait ever devised, as the passionate Sonic community jumped in to defend the games.

Featured image: Canva / Ideogram

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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