Google is taking on Open AI’s viral Chat GPT with its own conversational AI tool called Bard.
“We’ve been working on an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, that we’re calling Bard. And today, we’re taking another step forward by opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks,” wrote Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post.
LaMDA is short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications.
Part of a new generation of AI-based tools that are being called “generative AI”, Chat GPT has captured the imaginations of people around the world and piled pressure on large AI players like Google to release to the public whatever they have been working on for years. It is public knowledge that Google has been working behind the scenes on Artificial Intelligence models for years, especially since its acquisition of UK-based AI company Deepmind almost a decade ago.
Some of the company’s early research in the field has been the starting point of the competitors it is fighting to keep up with currently, at least in public.
Google’s hesitation, it is understood, has been held back by the whole matter of ethics in AI and trying to play it safe by not welcoming the controversy that is likely to accompany the abuse a publicly-accessible conversational AI tool was definitely going to bring. With the rise and rise in popularity of Chat GPT over the past month, those concerns, while still valid, are no longer a stumbling block, Google is going all in.
Unlike Chat GPT which references old data fed to it, Google’s Bard AI works with the live internet and is able to provide the necessary information and context-based off more recent data.
“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses,” writes Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Picha in a post on the company’s blog.
Bard AI is closed off to the public at this point and it is only accessible by a select few – inside Google, we presume.
“We’re releasing it initially with our lightweight model version of LaMDA. This much smaller model requires significantly less computing power, enabling us to scale to more users, allowing for more feedback. We’ll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information. We’re excited for this phase of testing to help us continue to learn and improve Bard’s quality and speed,” Pichai continues.