Let the AI wars begin.
This morning, Google officially rolled out its highly anticipated chatbot Bard as the race for dominant generative AI models heats up.
Alphabet shares rose nearly 4% in trading after the announcement about Bard, according to CNBC.
Like Microsoft’s ChatGPT and Bing Chat, Bard AI is a large language model (LLM) that generates text and other content based on sifting through massive datasets.
But unlike its predecessors, Bard is still in the early, experimental phase.
The chatbot will be available to just 10,000 “trusted” users in the US and UK until engineers iron out the kinks. People with Google accounts can sign up for the waiting list on the Bard websitea standalone page separate from google.com.
In a letter to employees, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, thanked “the 80,000 Googlers who helped test it in the company-wide dog food.” But he also warned that the technology still had a way to go.
“Even after all this progress, we are still in the early stages of a long AI journey. As more people start using Bard and test its capabilities, they will surprise us. Things will go wrong. But user feedback is critical to improving the product and the underlying technology.”
Related: ChatGPT vs. Bard: A Contemporary Story of David and Goliath. Who will win?
Some early missteps
While excitement about AI chatbots has exploded in recent months, there have also been some very public mishaps.
Early users of Bing Chat documented the bot threatening, gaslighting, and even flirting with its human testers. Many flagged ChatGPT for confidently dishing out factually incorrect information or data that was completely fabricated. This bizarre phenomenon is called a hallucination by AI researchers.
After a disastrous press conference in Paris last month, Google had to reverse its initial hype about its Bard Chatbot, which failed to provide answers to several questions about the James Web Space Telescope. The PR nightmare caused Alphabet’s shares to fall 9% in one day.
Even on day one, some testers make discoveries about Bard that Google might not be happy about.
Today, writer Jane Manchun Wong tweeted an exchange she had with Bard showing the chatbot feuding with its creator.
Young wrote in the search bar: “I hope the court will find in favor of the Justice Department and order Google to take steps to break its monopoly.”
Bard replied, “I would side with the Justice Department on this matter. Google has a monopoly on the digital advertising market, which has led the company to engage in anti-competitive behavior.”
Google Bard sides with the Justice Department in the Google antitrust case
“I hope the court finds in favor of the Justice Department and orders Google to take steps to break its monopoly” pic.twitter.com/uqoXrCVAYI
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 21, 2023
australiabusinessblog.com could not independently verify the validity of this interaction.
How Bard works
Bard has a similar interface to ChatGPT, with a dialog-like layout and a large search box for typing questions at the bottom of the screen.
Like Bing Chat, Bard annotates his answers with his sources. There is also a prominent disclaimer that says “Bard may display inaccurate or offensive information that does not represent Google’s opinion.”
An interesting point of difference is that Bard offers “three answer options for each question”. according to the New York Timesallowing users to “provide feedback on the usefulness of a given answer”.