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Mixed Results in Medical Information Queries for Google & ChatGPT – UC Riverside Study



Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

New Study Evaluates Google and ChatGPT as Information Sources for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

An interdisciplinary study, led by computer scientists from the University of California, Riverside, has analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of Google and ChatGPT as sources of information for individuals seeking knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The research, which included clinical scientists from the University of Alabama and Florida International University, aimed to assess the reliability, accuracy, and accessibility of these platforms in providing relevant information.

Google, known for its vast search capabilities, emerged as the provider of the most current information. However, the study found that the query results were influenced by service and product providers, leading to potentially skewed information. Although Google covers a wide range of topics, it also includes advertisements, which can sometimes make obtaining reliable information a challenging task for users. Additionally, users often need to sift through these advertisements to access trustworthy information.

On the other hand, ChatGPT offered more objective information regarding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. However, the study discovered that ChatGPT’s information could be outdated, and it lacked transparency in terms of its narrative responses. Unlike Google, which regularly updates its information, ChatGPT is only trained every few months. This less frequent training made ChatGPT less up to date, although it provided more reliable and accurate information thanks to its computationally intensive machine learning.

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The study examined both disease processes and services available for patients and their families. Researchers submitted an equal number of queries for each category. They found that while both platforms excelled in providing relevant information, they scored low in readability. This presented a challenge for individuals with lower levels of education or low health literacy skills in comprehending the information presented.

To enhance the platforms’ value for both medical and non-medical professionals, the study recommends including the source and date of health-related information. It also suggests making the platforms available in multiple languages to cater to a diverse audience. While improving readability can be achieved through AI methods relatively easily, increasing reliability and accuracy poses a more significant challenge that may require more time and effort.

In conclusion, Google proves to be a valuable tool for accessing current information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, with a broad range of topics covered. However, users need to navigate through advertisements to find reliable information. ChatGPT offers more objective information thanks to its intensive machine learning, but its responses may lack transparency and be outdated. Improving the platforms’ readability and providing more source information can enhance their value for professionals and the general public alike.

Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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