Asylum claim rejected by French authorities using Google Bard

Occurred: September 2023

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An Afghan refugee in Tehran had her asylum application rejected by an official at France's Ministry of the Interior using Google Bard, resulting in a government investigation.

According to Le Canard Enchaîné, the official told an adminstrative tribunal in Nantes that he had used Google's Bard chatbot to process the refugee's asylum claim. The bot informed him on the basis of the information shared with it that the girl was not eligible for family reunification as she was three months too old.

Le Canard Enchaîné later repeated the exercise based on the official's testimony, only to find it approved the claim. The incident raised questions about the suitability of government officials using public tools to assess sensitive asylum claims, and about the accuracy and robustness of Google Bard.


Operator: French Office for Immigration and Integration
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: France
Sector: Govt - immigration
Purpose: Process asylum claims
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance