On Monday, Google revealed that it will soon start rolling out a new AI chatbot technology called Bard. The news is consistent with what was reported on CNBC. Bard will go head-to-head against ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence service developed by OpenAI.
In order to power Bard, the company relies on its massive language model, LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications). According to a blog post published by the company on Monday, Google plans to roll out its conversation technology to a select group of “trusted testers” before making it available to the general public.
CNBC reported last week that Google is implementing a “code red” plan to counter ChatGPT, a popular chatbot backed in part by Microsoft, by testing some of these features with employees. New desktop search designs that facilitated a question-and-answer flow were included, as was a chatbot dubbed “Apprentice Bard.”
Soon, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote, “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.” This could mean finding blogs written by people who play both the piano and guitar, for example, or delving deeper into a related topic, such as how to get started as a beginner.
The company used an example of explaining the latest discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old as an illustration of how Bard can help simplify difficult topics.
In light of ChatGPT’s unexpected success, employees voiced concern at a recent all-hands meeting, prompting management to order product testing.
CNBC reported that Jeff Dean, Google’s head of AI, told employees at the time that the company is “more conservative than a small startup” because of the greater “reputational risk” it faces in providing incorrect information. Though he and Pichai hinted that Google could release comparable products to the public this year, that has yet to happen.
Internet search is Google’s bread and butter, and the company has long positioned itself as an innovator in artificial intelligence. In recent weeks, managers have been polling workers for their thoughts on the initiatives.
On Monday, the company reiterated the importance of extensive testing, saying, “We’ll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety, and being grounded in real-world information.”