Google has launched an experimental conversational AI service called Bard to a limited group of testers, with a view to a broader public launch in the coming weeks. This is a conversational assistant based on Google’s LaMDA large language model, it will use information from the web to generate textual responses to questions posed by users.
The company hopes the new service will help it to keep pace with rivals such as OpenAI, the creator of the popular ChatGPT. In a blog post, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet Inc., also shared a preview of new search engine features that will use AI to answer user queries, and said the company will be opening up some of its AI programs to outside developers.
Google’s move comes after rival Microsoft announced its multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in the AI start-up OpenAI and its plans to integrate its tools into its Bing search engine. This has led to complaints from investors that Google has not moved quickly enough to release its in-house AI tools, even though it was a pioneer in some of the technologies used to build tools such as ChatGPT. However, Google executives have stated that they have been careful with their tools and want to avoid the risk of bias or misuse.
Pichai says that the new external testing period for Bard will be combined with internal research to make sure that it gives responses that meet Google’s high standards for quality, safety, and accuracy of information. He added that the company is committed to developing AI responsibly, and it is critical that it brings experiences rooted in AI models to the world in a responsible way.
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