Google has unveiled its new AI chatbot, Bard, in a bid to compete with Microsoft's popular ChatGPT chatbot. Powered by Google's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), Bard is designed to be a conversational AI service that incorporates the breadth of the world's knowledge into its responses. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the product on February 6th, and the company is currently running an internal testing program before releasing it to the public in the coming weeks.
However, the launch of Bard hasn't been without its bumps. On Monday, Google shared an example of Bard answering the question “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?” with incorrect results. The AI tool responded with three bullet points, the last of which incorrectly stated that the JWST, which launched in December 2021, took the “very first pictures” of an exoplanet outside our solar system. NASA reported that in 2004 the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope captured the first picture of an exoplanet.
In response to the error, Google is launching a Trusted Tester program and combining external feedback with its own internal testing to ensure that Bard's responses meet a high bar for quality and accuracy. Microsoft is also getting in on the action, with an event today to show its integration of ChatGPT into Bing and other uses of the conversational AI technology. In 2019, Microsoft initially invested in OpenAI, and again in 2021.
The release of Bard and ChatGPT has sparked a product race between tech companies looking to demonstrate their AI chops and seize the public hype around the chatbot. Microsoft and Google are both hoping to capitalize on the runaway adoption of ChatGPT, which has accumulated more than 30 million users in two months. However, Google's launch has not gone entirely smoothly, with the company's shares dropping 9% on Wednesday and erasing about $170 billion in market value after its AI made a factual error in a demo. Nevertheless, the company is determined to compete with Microsoft in the search engine space, and is confident that its AI-powered tools will soon begin rolling out on the flagship Google Search tool.
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1. “Google unveils its ChatGPT rival” CNN, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/06/tech/google-bard-chatgpt-rival/index.html
2. “What went wrong with Google's ChatGPT rival Bard?” Yahoo News, 9 Feb. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/what-went-wrong-google-chatgpt-rival-bard-103201972.html
3. “Google Bard advert shows new AI search tool making a factual error” New Scientist, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2358426-google-bard-advert-shows-new-ai-search-tool-making-a-factual-error
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