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Wednesday 22 March 2023

*UKHotViewsExtra* Google Bard chatbot launches to compete with ChatGPT

GoogleGoogle has started rolling out its AI chatbot Bard as it looks to compete with Microsoft and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Unlike its viral rival, it can access up-to-date information from the internet, though not in a hugely successful manner I might add. It does have a ‘Google it’ button that takes you through to google search on the topic in question. Users currently have to register for a waitlist to try it out, though there appears to be no restriction on who can access it (including age).

As a bit of background and further info, Bard is a descendant of an earlier language model of Google's called Lamda, which was never fully released to the public, but did attract significant attention when one of Googles engineers claimed its answers were so good it was sentient (he was subsequently fired and Google denied the claims).

Google has also warned Bard would have "limitations" and said it might share misinformation and display bias. It is programmed not to respond to offensive prompts and has filters to prevent it from sharing harmful, illegal, sexually explicit or personally identifiable information but like any method these guardrails will occasionally fail (see my further analysis in UKHotViewsExtra).

Google has of course been much slower and cautious in the generative AI race. This latest move feels a bit like desperation and I wonder how much longer it would have remained in development if Microsoft had not forced its hand (and based on initial testing that may have been a good thing). Caution and patience will certainly serve AI development well going forwards and something we need more of.

When ChatGPT launched in November 2022, it had more than one million users within a week. Will Bard surpass that milestone given its access to the web, and the continued hype around the field of generative AI?

I got access myself overnight, so have managed to have short play around with Bard this morning to see how it compares to ChatGPT/GPT-4. TechMarketView subscribers - including UKHotViews Premium subscribers - can read my short analysis on Bard and such large language models in UKHotViewsExtra here

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 10:10

Tags: ArtificalIntelligence  

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