Google is launching a new AI tool called Bard. A “Bard” is a poet or storyteller, Google choosing the name may be reflective of what to expect from Bard -i.e., its ability to interact with users in a human-like way. Many people see Google’s Bard as a direct response to the perceived threat or competition it faces with the release of Chat GPT. According to a statement from the CEO of Google and Alphabet (Sundar Pichai) on the launch of Bard, Bard is an essential step in Google’s journey to making AI tools available for everyday use.
Google is not new to AI technology, in fact, it is arguably the corporation with the largest investment in AI technology (Google AI and Deepmind). However, it seems Google was not expecting the launching of Chat GPT back in November 2022 by Open AI and now wants to release its own version of a conventional chat box AI. Microsoft bought OpenAI – the creator of Chat GPT and intends to integrate it into its own search engine Bing. That will likely present huge competition to the Google Search engine.
Google’s Bard – What Is It?
Bard is a conversational AI service (chatbot) that is built on LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Application). It will allow users to enter queries and get responses in forms that mimic human-like conversation(similar to what Chat GPT is currently offering). Bard is expected to break down complex topics and ideas into forms that are easy to understand. It is said to be able to give responses to a large body of knowledge in a way that even a 9-year-old will understand(according to a claim by Google).
Bard is currently available only to “trusted testers” and will be released to everyone later when testing is concluded. It might take a while before it is available to the general public. Google plans to make it consistent with its Safety Standards and Ethical considerations for public use.
Is It Free?
At the moment, Bard is free but it is only available to a few “trusted testers”. There is no information yet on how or if Google is going to monetize the use of the AI tool.
Who Can Use It And For What?
Anyone who can use the internet will likely find a use case for Google Bard. There are currently no restrictions on who can use it. For the moment however (19, Jan 2023), it is only available to a select group of “trusted testers”. As to what you can use it for, Google gave the following examples of what you can use Bard for.
- Plan a friend’s baby shower
- Compare two Oscar-nominated movies
- Get lunch ideas based on what’s in your fridge
There is no mention of the AI’s ability to write codes – something that ChatGPT excels at. We may have to wait a while to find out its capabilities. It will be nice if Bard is able to write good codes like ChatGPT currently does.
How Is Bard Different From ChatGPT?
Bard and Chat GPT are both Chatbots but they are based on different language models. ChatGPT uses GPT-3.5, a version of OpenAI’s GPT- Generative Pre-trained Transformer Language model. The GPT-3.5 version was trained with data that was updated only to 2021. So there is currently a 2-year information gap for the current version of ChatGPT. ChatGPT will not be able to give any informed response on any event that occurred later than 201.
The Google Bard seems to have much more updated data available to it. It is based on a model called LaMDA – Language Model for Dialogue Applications. LaMDA is currently being trained so we should expect much more updated responses from Bard.
Why Is Google Launching Bard Now?
Google has had several releases of AI tools in the past but none has the smooth human-like interaction that ChatGPT provides. Bard seems to be in response to the growing competition that ChatGPT will provide. It is a fight for it to maintain its dominance of the internet Search Engine.
Google is the global leader in internet searches and that accounts for 90 percent of its revenue. So when Microsoft bought ChatGPT and revealed plans to integrate it with its own search engine Bing. It was taking direct aim at Google’s main source of income. Bing currently accounts for just 9 percent of all desktop searches, which may improve with the introduction of ChatGPT to the search engine. Google is then to find a way to either do things better or lose a sizeable chunk of its business to competitors.
ChatGPT is already taking the lead in conversational AI chatbots and has already shown signs that it will disrupt the industry. It had over 100 million monthly active users within 2 months of its launch.
AI-powered Chatbots will play a significant role in the next phase of the industry. Google is picking up the challenge and is a key player in the AI race. Here are some details of the unveiling of Bard by the Google Paris Office presentation. It gives some insight into Bard and other AI tools by Google.
Google Presentation in Paris, 2023 – Bard and other AI products.
From the presentation, we may be seeing the start of a fight on who will lead the next phase of how we use the internet.
Google’s Bard launch has similar features as Open AI’s Chatgpt. Bard is likely to stave off the competition currently from ChatGPT. ChatGPT is now a part of Bing Search Engines. It may be too early to know which of them will offer better utility to users. It is likely that there will be more upgrades and enhancements of the two Chatbots. These products will likely find daily use both for tech professionals and for common usage.