Google introduces 'Bard'Back
It's going fast now; Google is feeling the hot breath of Microsoft and ChatGPT. The tech giants are now tumbling over each other to hold a press event as soon as possible to further explain their plans. Microsoft will hold such an event on Tuesday, Google will follow with such an event the day after…
Earlier than expected, Google officially announced the introduction of Bard, the chatbot that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence). Google's answer to ChatGPT is now entering the testing phase. The fact that Bard is not yet a mature product is already a sign that it is in a hurry and that Google wants to get there early.
AI as a spearhead
AI is a spearhead for Google. Six years ago, the company focused on AI to fulfill its mission: “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and usable.” As examples it gives 'helping doctors detect diseases earlier' and 'giving people access to information in their own language'.
Were Google AI and DeepMind still experiments; today, the computing power of AI doubles every six months, much faster than microchips do (doubling the number of transistors every two years, according to Moore's law).
And now Bard, based on the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (or LaMDA for short). Bard is now being tested before becoming more widely available to the general public in the coming weeks. Bard combines the intelligence and creativity of Google's language model with that of the Internet. Initially a lightweight version will be released, but it can be quickly expanded to a more powerful version that can handle more users.
Meanwhile, Google is also working on other AI technologies, such as PaLM, Imagen and MusicLM, for automatically generating images and audio. It wants to integrate these latest AI developments into its products, starting, of course, in the Search Engine, which is the company's main source of revenue.
In their own words, more and more people are turning to Google for a more comprehensive answer with more depth, such as: "Which is easier to learn: playing piano or guitar, and how much should you practice?". Answering this question can take quite a bit of time and effort with the current way of searching, and there are also very different opinions on the subject.
AI can help you with these kinds of questions for which there is no one right answer. For example, it leads you to blogs of people who play both piano and guitar, or shows the steps you can take as a beginner to get started. These new AI features will be rolling out soon on Google Search.
Also for other developers
Google also plans to create a number of tools and APIs for developers of startups, for example. Partnerships with Cohere, C3.ai and Anthropic were already announced last week.
Google emphasizes the safe and responsible use of AI because it wants to provide "quick and high-quality answers"; undoubtedly a reference to the sometimes demonstrably incorrect or misleading answers that ChatGPT still gives. Moreover, the last thing Google can use right now is a chatbot that makes racist statements, for example.
It is striking that Google is already releasing this news, and not just during the annual developer conference in June. The close collaboration between ChatGPT and Microsoft, which plans to integrate the chatbot into its Bing search engine, is apparently enough reason for Google to take this very seriously. After all, there are potentially many tens of billions of dollars in ad revenue at stake.