Response to ChatGPT: Google launches Bard

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of world knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models.”

(Photo: AP)

Seattle The competition between Google and Microsoft over the future of Internet search is heating up. The head of the search group Sundar Pichai announced on Monday that his company would add an artificial intelligence (AI)-supported text robot called “Bard” to the Google search engine.

Soon, an Internet search will no longer return a list of hits, but will itself provide useful answers in text form. However, Pichai did not name a specific date.

Microsoft seems much further. The partner company OpenAI had released an AI-driven chatbot called ChatGPT, which can write essays, develop business plans or write program code on command. For Tuesday, Microsoft has invited to the corporate headquarters in Redmon for a large press conference.

There Microsoft could announce the integration of functions like ChatGPT into its own search engine Bing, reported the news platform Semafor.

Microsoft may have inadvertently pre-enabled this feature. On Monday, users shared images of the Bing search, in which it had been expanded to include a dialog function with detailed text answers. Microsoft invested a billion dollars in OpenAI in 2019 and recently announced another “billion dollar investment” in the company, which is estimated in industry circles at another ten billion dollars.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had announced that he wanted to integrate artificial intelligence into all of the group’s products. In the future, text robots could not only expand Internet searches, but also make writing in Word easier.

Google’s AI initiative has three parts: a chatbot called Bard, new AI capabilities in Google Search, and providing programming interfaces (APIs) that can be used to develop AI applications.

The AI-controlled language model Lamda (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) from Google will play a central role in this. The group management had celebrated Lamba 2021 as a “breakthrough in conversation technology”. After that, the model disappeared from public view.

Bard is based on a variant of Lamda and is described by Google as an “experimental AI service for conversations”. Bard will open to “trusted testers” starting immediately before opening to the public in the coming weeks. With the name of the service (English: “Barde”), Google alludes to the poet William Shakespeare. England’s national poet is often referred to as the ‘Bard of Avon’.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of world knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai wrote. It draws on information from the Internet to provide up-to-date, high-quality answers. “Bard can be an expression of creativity and a springboard for curiosity – whether it’s explaining the new discoveries of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a nine-year-old or learning more about the best forwards in football right now.”

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Google also wants to offer a glimpse into several AI-powered features in Google Search. This can help users to summarize findings for questions to which there is no single correct answer. You will soon see functions in the search “that convert complex information and different points of view into easily digestible formats”.

Google has long been developing software based on artificial intelligence that can talk to people. As early as spring 2018, the group demonstrated a program that called restaurants to make a reservation – and was not recognized as a computer. Criticism was immediately raised that such technology could be misused. Google has had its voice software used internally by employees for the past few years, but shied away from a broad market launch due to the risks.

More about artificial intelligence, ChatGPT and OpenAI:

In November 2022, OpenAI made its ChatGPT software public, which delivers texts in a few seconds that can hardly be distinguished from answers that people wrote, also in German. The technology is causing a stir, but it is also causing concern: after all, you can try to cheat with it at school or university or create false information on a large scale for distribution on the Internet. ChatGPT also sometimes gives wrong answers, but this is not recognizable for users.

ChatGPT also strategically pressured Google to compete with Microsoft. The arch-rival, which has had moderate success with its search engine Bing, has invested billions in OpenAI and will integrate the start-up’s software into its successful Azure cloud platform.

With agency material

More: What can the OpenAI chatbot do?

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