Apple rejected Bing for wrong answers about Annie Lennox

Rock

It has been revealed that Apple rejected Bing as the default search engine in its Safari browser after providing the wrong answer to a question about Annie Lennox.

Incorrect search results for the query “Annie Lennox first band” was among the reasons why Apple ended up going with Google as their default search engine. The claims were revealed on Friday, February 23 in a filing from Google in its antitrust case against the US government (per The Register).

Lennox was referenced in testimony from John Giannandrea, Apple’s vice president of machine learning and AI strategy.

Back in 2018, Giannandrea used Bing to research the singer’s career after Apple was approached by Microsoft in hopes to be choses ad the default search engine over Google. After searching for Lennonx’s first band, Bing only provided results for The Eurythmics.

Though Lennonx is best known for her time in The Eurythmics, her first band was The Tourist. In 1979 theu band covered Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ which reached the Number Four spot on the UK Singles chart.

SAN FRANCISCO - August 21: Backstage portrait of the Eurythmics (Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox) at the Kabuki Theater on the band's first US tour on August 21, 1983 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Randy Bachman/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO – August 21: Backstage portrait of the Eurythmics (Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox) at the Kabuki Theater on the band’s first US tour on August 21, 1983 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Randy Bachman/Getty Images)

Giannandrea was not impressed by the search engine. Other issues he found with Bing was it’s lack of local language coverage in markets Apple cared about and the lack of progress updating and improving the search engine which was previously discussed between the tech giants during 2015 and 2016.

Apple’s vice president of machine learning and AI strategy felt like Microsoft acknowledged Bing’s shortcomings, sharing that they “gave us a detailed presentation of what they were not doing, presumably to motivate us to say, ‘Hey if we invested in this together, we could do these things” (per

In the filing, Giannandrea’s testimony also states: “Microsoft was willing to sell Bing, which you wouldn’t do if it was a strategic asset.”

The filing is part of Google’s defense in the antitrust case that alleges it flouted competition laws to build its dominance of the US search market.



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