Google’s AI-powered ‘Bard’ gears up for next phase
Google has announced that it is allowing more people to interact with Bard.
Google announced on Tuesday that it is allowing more people to interact with “Bard,” an artificial intelligence chatbot the company is building to counter Microsoft’s early lead on a key technology battlefield.
In the next step, Google’s Bard is opening a waiting list to use an artificial intelligence tool similar to ChatGPT technology, which Microsoft began rolling out to its Bing search engine last month with great fanfare. And last week, Microsoft brought additional AI-based technologies to its word processing, spreadsheet and slide presentation programs with a new feature called Copilot.
Until now, Bard has only been available to a small group of “trusted testers” selected by Google. Mountain View, California, owned by Alphabet Inc., did not say how many people will have access to Bard in the next phase of the technology. Initial applicants will be limited to the US and UK before Google offers Bard in other countries.
Google is cautious about deploying its AI tools, in part because it has a lot to lose if the technology gives out inaccurate information or leads its users down dark corridors. This is because the dominant search engine, Google, has become the de facto gateway to the Internet for billions of people, raising the risk of a massive backlash that could tarnish its image and undermine its advertising business if the technology misbehaves.
Despite the pitfalls of technology, Bard still offers “incredible benefits” such as “increased productivity, creativity and curiosity,” according to a blog post by Google, which two of its vice presidents, Sissy Hsiao and Eli Collins, wrote at assistance of the Bard.
As a precautionary measure, Google limits the number of interactions that can occur between Bard and its users, a tactic Microsoft applied to ChatGPT following extensive media coverage of cases where the technology compared an Associated Press reporter to Hitler and tried to convince a New York Times reporter to divorce wife.
Google also makes Bard available through a site separate from its search engine, which serves as the basis for digital advertising, which generates most of its revenue. In tacit acknowledgment that Bard may be prone to fabricating lies, referred to in technical circles as “hallucinations,” Google provides a query box associated with its search engine to make it easier for users to check the accuracy of results. information displayed by the AI.
Shortly after Google unveiled the tool, Bard made the unfortunate mistake of prominently displaying the wrong answer about a scientific milestone during a presentation that was supposed to show how smart the technology could be. The gaffe sent Alphabet’s stock down nearly 8% in a single day, wiping out about $100 billion in shareholder wealth and highlighting just how closely investors are watching Google’s handling of its AI shift.
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