Sundar Pichai says Google Bard is getting an upgrade to compete with ChatGPT

It looks like Google is ready to turn on the jets for Bard, its ChatGPT competitor.

As spotted by The Verge, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai was recently on The New York Times’ Hard Fork podcast. During the episode, Pichai was asked about Bard, Google’s competitor to Open AI’s ChatGPT. While the reception for Bard has been lukewarm so far, Pichai indicated that the feature could be getting a major boost soon, saying that the company plans to upgrade Bard to “more capable PaLM models” “over the course of the next week.”

“We clearly have more capable models…Pretty soon, perhaps as this [podcast] goes live, we will be upgrading Bard to some of our more capable PaLM models, which will bring more capabilities; be it in reasoning, coding, it can answer maths questions better. So you will see progress over the course of next week.”

Pichai admitted that Bard’s lukewarm reception may be due to the company’s caution in rushing towards more powerful models powering the feature. The CEO said that the current version of Bard uses a “lightweight and efficient version of LaMDA” and that, compared to the current version of ChatGPT, it’s kind of like they took a “souped-up Civic and put it in a race with more powerful cars.”

The interview also covered the recent open letter that was signed by Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and experts to halt the development of more powerful models of AI. The letter calls for proper regulation and oversight before AI labs develop AI more powerful than GPT-4. Pichai agreed, saying that “I think there is merit to be concerned about it” and that “AI is too important an area not to regulate.”

Google has also started to roll out its AI features for Gmail and Google Docs as it races Microsoft, which also announced its AI Copilot feature for its productivity suite.

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