On February 6, Google made another big announcement regarding an experimental conversation AI service called Bard. Bard races to catch up with the wildly popular chatbot, ChatGPT from the Microsoft-backed firm OpenAI.
In the beginning, the service will be only available to the “trusted testers”, before making the platform more widely available to the public in the coming weeks. The announcement has been done by the CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai.
Pichai had previously talked about the launch of this service during the company’s earnings conference call last week. Where he mentioned that the consumers of ChatGPT rival Bard will be able to use its language models “as a companion to search”.
Google is taking it as a flagship search business and faces renewed competition from its Big Tech peer Microsoft which recently made a reported $10 billion investment in the upstart artificial intelligence (AI) research lab OpenAI. The company is also planning to include artificial intelligence capabilities across its range of software products including Google rival Bing.
Similar to ChatGPT, Bard will also be facilitating detailed answers to user prompts such as “plan a friend’s baby shower”, “compare two Oscar-nominated movies,” and many more.
The service could have an edge in answering questions about recent events since ChatGPT’s knowledge is currently restricted to internet data until 2021. As per the information shared by Pichai, Bard draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.
Bard is powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which is a large language model that was developed and released by Google in 2021. Pichai mentioned that they will be initially releasing Bard on a “lightweight” version of LaMDA. The tool will require significantly less computing power which would be helpful in enabling the scale to more users and seeking more feedback.
He has also said that the company is planning to make the combination of external feedback with its own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information.