Despite the global popularity of Microsoft Inc-backed OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, Google Inc is not willing to relinquish its position as the leading search engine easily. To strengthen its generative AI capabilities, Google has been making consecutive announcements. After recently partnering with Anthropic, a potential competitor to ChatGPT, Google has now unveiled a new experimental conversational service called ‘Bard’, powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), a robust AI model first introduced by Google in May 2021. Like ChatGPT, Bard utilizes information from the internet to provide fresh and high-quality responses.
This announcement follows Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s recent statement that the company will soon launch large language AI-powered models that will serve as a “champion to search.” Pichai further explained that this AI tool will “combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of its large language models.” For now, Google is allowing only trusted external testers to try out ‘Bard.’
Google states that “Bard” can serve as a medium for expressing creativity and a starting point for inquisitiveness, providing assistance in comprehending the latest findings from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or gaining knowledge on the current top football strikers, followed by drills to enhance one’s abilities.
To ensure that Bard’s responses meet Google’s “high bar for quality, safety, and groundedness,” the company’s CEO has stated that external testers’ feedback will be combined with internal testing. Google plans to make Bard more widely available in the “coming weeks,” and will continue to launch, iterate, and improve it over time.
This announcement comes amidst recent ground-breaking developments in the text-generative AI field, with Microsoft-backed OpenAI leading the way in gaining popularity among developers, researchers, and businesses. Newcomer AI systems such as ChatGPT and DALL-E have already placed Google at a disadvantage, despite the company having worked in the AI space for years, as it has not yet released any sophisticated tools like these.
In addition to the rollout of Bard, Pichai has revealed that Google will also introduce AI-powered features to its lucrative Search service. These features will distill complex information into easily understood formats, allowing users to access deeper insights and understanding through the power of AI.
Google’s recent AI announcements are particularly significant in light of Microsoft’s recent moves in the AI space. Microsoft announced a “multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment (around $10 billion)” in OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, in January 2023, with plans to commercialize the technology across its consumer and enterprise products. Microsoft has previously invested more than $1 billion in the startup in 2019 and 2021.
Following Google’s announcement, Microsoft has also announced a media event where it may reveal new AI-powered features for its search engine Bing. While chatbots like ChatGPT have gained worldwide popularity, experts have warned against relying too heavily on them due to their inability to update with the latest information.