Not sure if Shakespeare would have been kind towards the latest AI chat bot but Google is going ahead, calling it the Bard, a rival of ChatGPT. Reports about Bard have been trickling in for weeks but Google CEO has finally confirmed it.
Sundar Pichai told employees the company is going to need all hands on deck to test Bard and he also said Google will soon be taking help of partners to test an application programming interface, or API, that would let others access the same underlying technology. After ChatGPT from Microsoftbacked OpenAI shook up the world last year, Google has been under pressure from investors to reveal a rival. Bard will be used by a group of testers before being rolled out to the public in the coming weeks.
Nobody’s sure what capabilities Bard will have, but it appears that the chat bot will be just as free-ranging as ChatGPT. In a blog post Pichai writes: “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.”
The chat bot is built on Google’s existing large language model LaMDA, which one engineer — last year — described as being so human-like in its responses that he believed it was sentient. “We’re releasing it initially with our lightweight model version of LaMDA. This much smaller model requires significantly less computing power, enabling us to scale to more users, allowing for more feedback. 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 realworld information,” Pichai has said.
Pichai’s note to employees says that searchboss Prabhakar Raghavan will be “sharing progress” at an event in Paris later this week. “We’ve been approaching this effort with an intensity and focus that reminds me of early Google — so thanks to everyone who has contributed,” Pichai has said in a note (confirmed by CNBC) to employees.
Bard “draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses”, suggesting it may be able to answer questions about recent events, which is something ChatGPT can’t deal with. Meanwhile, Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars into OpenAI, is said to be integrating ChatGPT into its Bing search engine as well as other products in its suite of office software.