Google rolls out Bard, its answer to ChatGPT
Google-parent Alphabet is rolling out an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot dubbed “Bard” as it competes with the fast-emerging ChatGPT, backed by rival Microsoft.
In a blog post on Monday, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is sharing Bard with “trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.”
The tool “seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai said in his post, calling AI “the most profound technology we are working on today.”
Bard uses Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications, or LaMDA — the same AI model that one former Google engineer claimed was sentient. LaMDA is trained on vast amounts of dialogue to create something resembling a free-flowing conversation. For testing, Bard will use a scaled-down version of LamDA that requires less computing power, Pichai said, which will allow more users to try it out.
Unlike ChatGPT, which is trained on data ending in 2021, Bard pulls information from the web and can “provide fresh, high-quality responses,” according to Pichai. For example, someone can ask Bard to explain NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or ask whether the piano or guitar are easier to learn, according to the post.
Google plans to add AI-powered features to its search tool in order to “distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats,” according to the post.
The explosive growth of ChatGPT, in which Microsoft has invested billions, has created panic at Google, the New York Times reported. Its main product, search, has come in for a reassessment from some users, with some now turning to ChatGPT to answer questions they previously asked Google.
AI language models have also faced criticism, with academics and activists noting that AI reproduces the biases and errors of the information on which it’s trained.
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