Google Announces ChatGPT Rival Called ‘Bard’

Search engine giant Google announced on Monday it was introducing a chatbot service, in a move anticipated to rival Microsoft’s AI-powered ChatGPT.

In a blog post on Monday, Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai introduced the chatbot, called Bard. It would be integrated into the company’s search engine.

The conversational AI service would be powered by LaMDA, Google’s own AI with the power to generate human-like prose that was described as sentient by a company engineer last year. The claim was later dismissed by Google.

Last month, Microsoft announced extending its partnership with ChatGPT creator OpenAI. The chatbot can generate text, sparking widespread fears of cheating in schools and universities, as well as rendering several professions obsolete.

What Do We Know About Bard?

Pichai said in his Monday blog post that Bard would test users for feedback, ahead of a public release within the coming weeks. Google is also planning to add AI features to its popular search engine which could cater to complex queries such as which musical instrument would be easier to learn.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai said, referring to AI. He added that it relied on a version of LaMDA that requires less commuting power, to be able to serve more users.

What remains to be seen is how Bard would be different from its ChatGPT rival. A demo of the conversational chatbot reveals that it invites users to provide a prompt, with a warning that its response could be inappropriate or inaccurate, much like ChatGPT.

Google-Microsoft AI Rivalry

Before ChatGPT was released last November, Google had been reluctant to make strides in language-based AI, amid universal fears of technology that was not ready.

However, when Microsoft announced its backing of OpenAI, with expectations that it would integrate ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, Google came under mounting pressure. The search engine giant feared an AI-powered Bing would take away from its own popularity.

Last week, Google’s parent company Alphabet posted poor earnings, which increased the urgency to compete in the chatbot field.

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