As Microsoft strengthens its investment into ChatGPT, Google has released its own rival to the AI-driven chatbot, ‘Bard,’ although it’s currently only available to a limited number of users over the age of 18.
Google’s Bard feature has encountered many bumps down the road since being unveiled this February, including making a very public error in its first public demo. However, it does appear to have a major selling point over ChatGPT, however, as the chatbot is able to access up-to-date search information through its handy “Google It” button.
The new AI feature is far from polished, and is being considered “an experiment” by Google staffers, but here’s what we know so far.
Google Opens Early Acess to ChatGPT Rival, Bard
Not one to be left in the dust of competitors like Microsoft, Google has jumped the gun by releasing its version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT to select users.
Just like its forerunner ChatGPT, Bard is a conversational AI chatbot that is powered by a sophisticated language model. The platform can also be used in a similar way, by giving users the opportunity to type into a text box and ask questions on any topic they choose.
However, unlike the original chatbot, Bard uses Google’s own Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which prides itself on creating responses that are more human-generated than ChatGPT. Additionally, Bard features a “Google It” button, which utilizes large swathes of live search data and produces three responses for each prompt, allowing users to select the version they prefer.
While Google has been working on this custom technology for some time, Google senior product director Jack Krawczyk tells the BBC that Bard should be seen as “an experiment” and a “launchpad for creativity” rather than a finished product.
“Make no mistake, this is an extremely cautious product launch, about as far away from the former ‘move fast and break things’ bravado of the early days of big tech as it is possible to get.” – Google senior product director, Jack Krawczyk
This cautious sentiment was echoed by Google’s head of research, Zoubin Ghahramani, who told the publication that “like any method, these guardrails will occasionally fail” when referring to the chatbot’s potential responses to offensive prompts.
However, polished or not, the release of Google Bard represents a pretty major step forward for the search giant. But who exactly is it available to?
How Can I Use Google’s Bard?
If you’re interested in testing out Google’s new smart companion before it hits the masses, you need to join a waitlist at bard.google.com. If you’re successful, you’ll receive an email that will notify you of the steps to take next.
Google hasn’t released a timeline for its wider rollout yet, so it’s impossible to say when Bard will be available for the general public. However, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that chatbot will be making changes to Google Search soon.
And in the meantime, if you’re still itching to test out generative AI, but aren’t a fan of OpenAI’s solution, check out our guide to ChatGPT’s top alternatives here.