Google Introduces Bard, an AI Competitor to ChatGPT, as the Battle for Conversational AI Supremacy Heats Up

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Google has announced the launch of Bard, its own conversational artificial intelligence (AI) system, designed to rival Microsoft’s ChatGPT. The company has reportedly invested billions of dollars in the project, which comes amidst the buzz created by ChatGPT, developed by San Francisco-based OpenAI. Since its release in late 2022, ChatGPT has attracted over a million users within a short span of two months.

Bard’s unveiling follows the remarkable success of ChatGPT, known for its versatility in writing essays, news articles, and poems, and engaging in human-like conversations. However, ChatGPT has also been perceived as a potential threat to Google’s core search business.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in a blog post that Bard will undergo testing before becoming more widely available to the public in the coming weeks. The AI system is designed to draw information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality answers, and can be utilized for both creative and informative purposes. Bard is based on Google’s LaMDA system, the Language Model for Dialogue Applications, which has been in development for several years.

ChatGPT, an AI conversational model capable of engaging in diverse natural language dialogues, has made waves since its free public release in November. Its uncanny similarity to human conversation has raised concerns about its potential to replace professional writers and complete students’ homework.

OpenAI announced that it uses Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure service to train its AI models, and Microsoft’s investment will enable accelerated independent research. Azure will continue to be OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider.

After years of development, Google has stepped up in the race against OpenAI and Microsoft with Bard, its AI chatbot, which will initially be available to a limited number of users in the US and UK before expanding to more users, countries, and languages.

In contrast to its competitors, Google has adopted a more cautious approach, given concerns about the unpredictable and sometimes unreliable nature of the technology. Nevertheless, the launch marks a significant step in mitigating potential threats to Google’s most lucrative business—its search engine.

Google has been testing the underlying technology behind Bard since 2015 but has kept it under wraps due to concerns about its reliability and potential biases. The company plans to introduce over 20 AI products and features, including Shopping Try-on and the ability to create custom background images for YouTube videos and Pixel phones.

Bard operates as a standalone web page rather than being integrated with Google’s search engine. The AI chatbot is based on a large language model, which learns skills by analyzing vast amounts of data from the internet. This approach can result in inaccuracies and invented information, a phenomenon known as hallucination in AI research. Google has worked to limit this behavior but acknowledges that its controls are not entirely effective.

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