Google has introduced “Bard,” an AI experiment that is set to compete with OpenAI’s popular chatbot, ChatGPT. The tech giant has opened up access to Bard for anyone with a Google account, but only a limited number of users in the US and UK will have access initially, before a public release in the coming weeks.
Bard is built on Google’s existing LaMDA language model, which can generate human-like responses to questions. However, Bard is powered by a smaller, optimized version of LaMDA and is designed to help users boost productivity and accelerate ideas.
Google announced Bard in February, responding to the overwhelming success of ChatGPT. Shortly after, Microsoft announced and launched Bing Chat, using OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model.
While similar to other chatbots, Bard learns by analyzing vast amounts of data from the internet. It is possible for the chatbot to provide incorrect information, which is referred to as hallucination in AI research. Google has worked to limit this behavior, although the company acknowledges its controls are not entirely effective.
On the other hand, unlike ChatGPT, which has gained popularity by replacing search engines, Google intends Bard to complement its search engine. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, said that people are now using Google search to ask more nuanced questions than before.
For instance, people in the past asked about the features of a mobile phone but now they seek answers to whether they should consider buying it or not. Pichai stated that AI could be helpful in these situations, by providing insights into questions that do not have a single answer.
In a blog post, the CEO explained that “Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of our large language models.”
While Bard is currently a standalone tool, the search giant is expected to integrate some of its technology into its Search service in the future.
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