What is Google Bard? Here’s everything you need to know

Table of Contents

Google, known for its innovative and groundbreaking technologies, has recently introduced its own AI chatbot called Bard. With the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google aims to provide its users with a conversational AI experience through Bard. In this article, we will explore the features, functionality, and controversies surrounding Google Bard, giving you a comprehensive understanding of this exciting new development.

Introduction

In the realm of AI chatbots, Google has unveiled its experimental and conversational AI chat service called Bard. Similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Bard leverages advanced AI technologies to provide users with a wide range of functionalities, including coding assistance, math problem-solving, and writing assistance. One notable distinction is that Bard pulls information directly from the web, offering a unique approach to delivering responses.

The Announcement of Google Bard

Google Bard Login

Google introduced Bard on February 6, according to a statement by Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet. Although Bard itself was a new concept, it was powered by Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which was unveiled two years prior. This underlying language model formed the foundation for Bard’s conversational capabilities.

Understanding How Google Bard Works

Google Bard now relies on Google’s advanced large language model (LLM) PaLM 2, which was showcased at Google I/O 2023. PaLM 2 represents an upgraded version of PaLM, released in April 2022, and significantly enhances Bard’s efficiency and performance. Initially, Bard utilized a lightweight model version of LaMDA to cater to a larger user base efficiently.

LaMDA, built on Google’s neural network architecture called Transformer, was released in 2017. Interestingly, GPT-3, the language model behind ChatGPT, also utilizes the Transformer architecture, highlighting the interconnectedness of these AI advancements.

Availability of Google Bard

Google Bard

During Google I/O, the tech giant announced that Bard would be available to the general public without a waitlist. Previously, Google had granted access to a limited number of users in the US and UK through a rolling basis waitlist that opened on March 21, 2023. By removing the waitlist, Google aimed to make Bard widely accessible to users seeking conversational AI capabilities.

Language Support for Google Bard

At Google I/O, it was revealed that Bard would initially support Japanese and Korean languages, with plans to expand its language support to encompass 40 more languages in the near future. This broad language coverage demonstrates Google’s commitment to inclusivity and catering to a global user base.

The Inclusion of Images in Bard’s Answers

In a recent update, Google enhanced Bard’s responses by incorporating images. When users ask questions that are better answered with visual references, Bard pulls relevant images from Google and displays them alongside its responses. For example, if a user asks about the best places to visit in New York, Bard provides a list of locations accompanied by corresponding photos.

Google Bard Image Inclusion

Controversies Surrounding Google Bard

Google Bard faced some challenges during its launch. In a demo, Bard provided inaccurate information about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), claiming it had taken the first pictures of a planet outside our solar system. This misstep highlighted the importance of rigorous testing, prompting Google to initiate a Trusted Tester program to address any inaccuracies.

User feedback also indicated that Bard struggled to answer basic questions promptly and lacked the automatic inclusion of sources. In comparison to well-established competitors like ChatGPT and Bing Chat, Bard was perceived as falling short. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, even referred to Bard as a “souped-up Civic” when compared to the capabilities of ChatGPT and Bing Chat.

Furthermore, before Bard’s release, Google’s LaMDA came under scrutiny when former engineer Blake Lemoine raised concerns about its potential sentience. However, Google refuted these claims, taking steps to address the controversy.

The Transition from LaMDA to PaLM 2

Google’s decision to transition from LaMDA to PaLM 2 represents a strategic move to address the limitations and challenges faced during Bard’s initial launch. PaLM 2, as an advanced large language model, brings increased efficiency and performance to Bard, potentially mitigating many of the issues encountered in its earlier version.

The Release Timing of Google Bard

The release of Bard can be attributed to the immense success and popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. After witnessing the rapid growth of ChatGPT, which garnered over a million users within a week of its launch, Google, along with other tech companies, recognized the demand for conversational AI solutions. Consequently, Google unveiled Bard in February 2023, coinciding with Microsoft’s introduction of an AI-improved Bing.

Other AI Services by Google

Apart from Bard, Google has been actively developing other AI services. Although these services have not been released to the public yet, they demonstrate Google’s commitment to advancing AI technologies. Notable examples include Imagen, an AI image generator that could potentially rival OpenAI’s DALL-E, and MusicLM, an AI music generator. Google has expressed caution regarding the release of these services, considering potential challenges related to content appropriation and cultural biases.

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Conclusion

Google Bard represents Google’s foray into the world of conversational AI chatbots. With its unique approach of pulling information directly from the web, Bard offers users a valuable resource for coding, math problem-solving, and writing assistance. While facing initial challenges and controversies, Google has taken steps to improve Bard’s performance by transitioning to the more advanced PaLM 2 model. As Bard continues to evolve, it aims to provide users with a seamless and engaging conversational AI experience.

FAQ’s

Can Bard code, solve math problems, and help with writing needs?

Yes, Bard shares similarities with other AI chatbots in its ability to code, solve math problems, and assist with writing tasks.

Which languages are currently supported by Bard?

Bard currently supports Japanese and Korean languages, with plans to expand its language support to include 40 more languages in the near future.

Does Bard include images in its responses?

Yes, Bard has been updated to include images in its responses. It retrieves relevant images from Google when a visual reference enhances the answer to a user’s query.

How does Bard differ from ChatGPT and Bing Chat?

Bard, while offering conversational AI capabilities, has faced criticism for its initial performance when compared to more established competitors like ChatGPT and Bing Chat. Google CEO Sundar Pichai described Bard as a “souped-up Civic” in comparison to the capabilities of ChatGPT and Bing Chat.

What are the controversies surrounding Google Bard?

Google Bard faced controversies during its launch, primarily due to inaccuracies in its responses. In a demo, Bard provided false information about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), claiming it had taken the first pictures of a planet outside our solar system. This incident highlighted the need for thorough testing and prompted Google to initiate a Trusted Tester program to ensure accuracy and reliability.
Additionally, users reported that Bard had difficulty answering basic questions promptly, lacked automatic source inclusion, and fell short compared to its competitors. These issues sparked negative feedback and comparisons with more established AI chatbots.

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