Google has announced that it will be launching its own artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot following the success of Microsoft-backed ChatGPT. The company said that the AT will “soon” be integrated into its search engine to provide written answers to search queries, in addition to links to relevant web pages, images and videos.
In January, Microsoft announced that it would be making a “multi-year, multibillion-dollar investment” in the artificial intelligence (AI) start-up OpenAI – the maker of ChatGPT and other tools that can write readable text and generate new images. ChatGPT was launched on 30 November last year and has since exploded in popularity.
OpenAI says: “We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
This is everything you need to know about Bard.
What is Bard?
Bard is an “experimental conversational AI service” which is powered by Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications, for LaMDA for short.
In the blog post announcing Bard, Google said: “Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.
“Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”
Using the example of someone trying to search whether it’s easier to learn the piano or guitar, and how much practice is needed on either instrument, Google said: “Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distil complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner.”
What has Google said about it?
Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the tool would allow Google to answer questions in a more intelligent way that will go beyond just providing basic factual information.
He said: “Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.
“Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope to a nine-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”
Pichai insisted the bot would be both “bold and responsible”, but did not specify how the company would prevent it producing harmful or abusive content.
He continued: “One of the most exciting opportunities is how AI can deepen our understanding of information and turn it into useful knowledge more efficiently – making it easier for people to get to the heart of what they’re looking for and get things done.
“When people think of Google, they often think of turning to us for quick factual answers, like ‘how many keys does a piano have?’
“But increasingly, people are turning to Google for deeper insights and understanding — like, ‘is the piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each need?’”
When will it be available to the public?
A specific date has not yet been announced for when Bard will be made available to the public. In the announcement regarding the AI on Monday (6 Feb), Google said that it has taken the step of “opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks”.
Google added that initially, Bard would be released with a “lightweight model version of LaMDA”, which is a smaller model that requires “significantly less computing power, enabling us to scale to more users, allowing for more feedback”.
Google said: “We’ll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information. We’re excited for this phase of testing to help us continue to learn and improve Bard’s quality and speed.”