The fast-growing popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) has caused the likes of Google to worry about its future, so much so that it was developing its own version of the OpenAI-based AI model to compete with rival ChatGPT.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, on Monday finally officially announced ChatGPT’s rival named “Bard”, calling it “an important next step” in artificial intelligence (AI) for the search engine giant.
Google describes the AI-powered chatbot as an “experimental conversational AI service” that will respond to users’ queries and join in conversations.
The AI chatbot is based on LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) launched in 2021 and Google’s own conversational AI chatbot. The conversation technology will be opened up to trusted testers before it becomes more widely available to the general public in the coming weeks.
According to Pichai, Bard will be a combination of power, intelligence, and creativity of the company’s large language models. It seeks knowledge based on the responses provided by the users as well as draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses. It can also help simplify complex topics.
In other words, the AI chatbot will provide exhaustive, conversational, and essay-style answers similar to ChatGPT. It will be able to help users compare two Oscar-nominated movies, and provide tips for planning a party, or lunch ideas based on what food is left in a refrigerator.
“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 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills,” Pichai wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“It’s a really exciting time to be working on these technologies as we translate deep research and breakthroughs into products that truly help people.”
To start with, Google would initially release Bard on a ‘lightweight’ version of LaMDA, which will require significantly less computing power, enabling the company to scale to more users, and allow 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 real-world information. We’re excited for this phase of testing to help us continue to learn and improve Bard’s quality and speed,” Pichai continued.
Bard is Google’s competition to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, backed by Microsoft. Launched in November 2021, ChatGPT has become insanely popular because of its immense capabilities, be it content writing through simple prompts, or organizing people’s meals, planning a holiday party, or even writing a song, and much more.
Within a few days of its release, ChatGPT managed to garner more than one million users within a week. Since the AI tool is designed to understand and respond to user inquiries intuitively, it has quickly become a favorite website for millions of users to ask queries.
However, Pichai believes that Bard could hold a huge advantage over the ChatGPT, as the latter can only access data through 2021 whereas the former takes current information from the Web to deliver responses.
Besides the above, the Google CEO also stated that users would soon be able to use AI-powered features in Google Search.
“Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner,” he added.
Pichai says it has more of such newest AI technologies — like LaMDA, PaLM, Imagen, and MusicLM — which can churn out videos and audio just from text descriptions and images.
It is rumored that many such AI features and Chatbots are expected to be announced in the upcoming Google I/O 2023 during the May-June period.