As a way to compete with ChatGPT’s viral success, Google unveiled a chatbot tool dubbed “Bard” on Monday. In a blog post, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, said Bard would be available to “trusted testers” starting Monday, with the public expected to be able to access it by the end of the week.
Bard, like ChatGPT by OpenAI, is built on a large language model that is trained on vast troves of data to produce compelling responses to user questions.
Bard is an effort to meld the world’s knowledge with the capabilities of our large language models, as articulated by Pichai. This technology utilizes web material to provide accurate and fresh responses. The unveiling of Bard comes at a time when Google’s main service – web search – is perceived to be in jeopardy due to intense competition. Since its public debut two months ago, ChatGPT has been used for essay writing, storytelling, generating song lyrics and providing answers for questions that would otherwise require using Google search.
The immense attention on ChatGPT has reportedly prompted Google’s management to declare a “code red” situation for its search business. Paul Buchheit, one of the creators of Gmail, warned in a tweet last year that AI may “completely disrupt” Google within a few years.
The company has already confirmed plans to invest billions in OpenAI and has already announced that it will incorporate the software into some of its products. According to rumors, Microsoft is planning to integrate it into its search engine, Bing. After Google’s AI news broke on Monday, Microsoft announced a news event on Tuesday at its Washington headquarters. The topic is yet to be announced.
AI-driven features will soon be available in Search, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web by distilling complex information and multiple perspectives. Pichai wrote, “whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or digging deeper into a related topic, like how to get started as a beginner.”
Incorporating an AI chatbot tool into search could come with some risks, if Google does decide to do so. Experts have noted that these tools have the potential to perpetuate biases and spread misinformation because they use data from online sources. As Pichai wrote in his post, “We must bring experiences rooted in these models to the world boldly and responsibly.”