In the renewed war of the brands in Open AI, Google has just rolled out its own version of ChatGPt. The new Google Ai chatbot, simply called Bard is a bid to rival the immensely popular ChatGPT.
Google is playing catch-up in the race to commercialize generative artificial intelligence technology.
Google said that Bard, which provides answers to text-based questions, will be run separately from its Google Search engine.
Users in the US and UK can sign up for a waitlist, The rest of the world would have to wait.
Its launch comes almost four months after Microsoft-backed rival OpenAI drew worldwide attention with the public release of its chatbot, ChatGPT, sparking a rush by tech giants to bring powerful new language-based artificial intelligence to the internet search business.
Last week, OpenAI revealed its new language model, GPT-4, which users can access through a premium version of ChatGPT and via Microsoft’s search engine Bing. Chinese search giant Baidu also released its own chatbot, Ernie, which it positions as a Chinese-language alternative to ChatGPT.
In recent weeks, generative AI has also been integrated into widely used productivity applications, such as Google’s Workspace including Google Docs and Gmail, and Microsoft’s Office 365 software, as well as into popular apps like Duolingo, allowing millions of people to start interacting with the technology.
Google said Bard will generate answers only in English — rather than computer code or other languages — and will provide access on a first-come-first-served basis to users who sign up to its wait-list in the US and the UK.
“We want to get feedback and gradually phase up the number of people who have access to Bard,” said Zoubin Ghahramani, vice-president of Google Research. “And the reason for that is we really want to be able to test and learn from that before we roll it out very widely.”
Bard is built on top of Google’s AI technology known as LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications, and was trained on text data taken from across the open web. It is also grounded in Google Search results, an additional layer of training that means it is less likely to contradict itself with incorrect information.
Question-answer chatbots have been among the first wave of consumer products being built on top of so-called generative AI — a technology that uses enormous amounts of human-generated text to produce plausible responses to queries.
But Google has been slow to release conversational AI compared to its rival Microsoft, which in January announced a “multibillion-dollar” investment in OpenAI. Critics say Google is hemmed in by its hugely profitable search business, which discourages it from introducing generative AI because of its ability to summarise search results into a single answer.
The models are also not fully up-to-date with real-time information from the web so tend to lag behind the present, which leads to some inaccuracies.
Do or die for Google
The launch of Google Bard It is seen as a do-or-die moment for the company, whose profitable web search service risks being outcompeted by artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots – even if those chatbots currently have problems in consistently returning accurate and useful results.
Wave-making ChatGPT already has a first-mover advantage in this space. Can Google outrun the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT? Time will tell.