What is Google Bard AI? How to use it? Features, use cases, and limitations
For almost two decades, Google Search has been the most popular gateway to the world wide web with little to no competition. However, in November 2022, it encountered its first potential competitor, ChatGPT, the experimental chatbot by OpenAI that promises to be the next great disruptor in the IT industry.
Thanks to its legitimate responses to user queries, after its release last year, OpenAI’s chatbot gained over a million users in less than a week, setting off a “code red” for tech behemoth Google despite ChatGPT’s huge room for development. In February of this year, Google responded, introducing the world to its own AI chatbot, Google Bard.
What is Google Bard AI?
Similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard (named as a storyteller) is the latest experimental AI-powered chatbot that can respond to various queries and requests in a conversational manner. Using information online, it is intended to generate fresh, high-quality responses. While it is not yet widely available for use, Google Bard AI is, however, likely to be integrated into Google Search and could be made accessible through its search bar.
What is LaMDA?
At the heart of Google Bard is the experimental technology, LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), Google’s language model built on Transformer, a neural network architecture, which is the basis of several generative AI applications seen today and surprisingly, ChatGPT’s GPT-3 language model.
Google Bard has been released with a lightweight model version of LaMDA that utilizes significantly less computing power, allowing scalability to more users and gaining more feedback that is intended to be combined with Google’s own internal testing.
LaMDA is essentially a statistical method that can predict the following words in a series based on the previous ones. Its innovativeness lies in its ability to stimulate dialogue in a looser fashion than is typically allowed by task-based responses. This allows the conversation to flow freely from one topic to another. It utilizes concepts like multimodal user intent, reinforcement learning, and suggestions.
How to use Google Bard AI?
To be able to use Google Bard, one has to be chosen among the chosen goup of beta testers. If chosen, you can open the Google app on a smart device, tap on the chatbot icon, and simply enter your prompt or request.
This is the point where the conversation starts, and you can start asking your questions or making requests. Unfortunately, Google is no longer accepting applications to join the Beta Testing group.
Features of Google Bard AI
Although chatbots cannot exactly hold conversations like humans, they notoriously appear to do so by generating a wide range of digital text that can be repurposed in nearly any context. Google’s chatbot strives to achieve that with almost any topic thrown its way by:
- Seeking to showcase the combination of power, intelligence, and creativity
- Collecting information from user responses and the web
- Using a lite model version of the LaMDA for initial testing purposes
- Collecting feedback to improve the AI system in the future
Use cases and examples of Google Bard AI
Google Bard has several potential use cases that can simplify life and fill knowledge gaps—the most expected ones being:
- Getting appropriate answers to queries with its sophisticated AI algorithms
- Finding information with the familiar Google search engine
- More advanced and improved task automation powered by Google AI
- Personal AI assistance, especially for activities like assistance with time management and scheduling
- Functioning as a social hub and facilitating user conversations in all kinds of settings
Google has a long history of using AI to improve search for billions, and now, their newest AI technologies are building on this and developing entirely new ways to engage with information, whether it’s language, images, video, or audio.
Scope of AI with Google Bard
Today’s AI offers more opportunities to deepen our understanding of information and efficiently transform it into useful knowledge, thus making it convenient for people to find what they’re looking for quickly. AI is helpful in moments that require the synthesis of insights for questions that have no one correct answer.
Soon, AI-powered features in Search will be able to distill complex information and various perspectives into quick and easily digestible formats. Google Search plans to roll out these new AI features soon.
Over time, Google also intends to develop a suite of tools and APIs to help build more innovative applications with AI. These advancements could prove crucial to startups who want to build reliable and trustworthy AI systems.
Google Bard AI vs ChatGPT
- Google Bard AI will be able to answer real-time questions. ChatGPT responses are based on data available till 2021.
- Using Google Bard AI requires a minor adjustment to the Google settings to get regular search results, while ChatGPT returns only text responses.
- Google Bard is based on LaMDA, while ChatGPT is based on GPT.
- ChatGPT has its own plagiarism detector (AI Text Classifier), a feature not yet available for Google Bard.
- Google Bard AI is completely free for now. ChatGPT Plus is a newly introduced paid plan by OpenAI.
Chatbots like ChatGPT and LaMDA are more expensive to operate than typical software. Bard’s use of the “lighter weight” version of LaMDA allows the technology to be run at a lower cost.
Limitations of Google Bard AI
Chatbots and conversational AI have introduced a huge change in how computer software is built, used, and operated. They are poised to restructure search engines, digital assistants, and email programs. Despite its enormous potential, the technology does come with its flaws.
Because chatbots learn from the vast amounts of information available on the internet, they still have a long way to go before they can distinguish between fact and fiction and avoid biased responses.
The most recent instance of Google Bard’s slip-up has, in fact, been recorded in its very first demo in the form of a factual error. A GIF shared by Google shows one of Bard’s responses to a question with inaccurate information. The GIF showed the question –
“What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?”
…with the answer that it took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system. However, many astronomers on Twitter were quick to point out that this is incorrect, as the first image of an exoplanet was taken in 2004.
This mistake highlights the biggest limitation of AI chatbots and the importance of a rigorous testing process. Google is making the effort to further work on Bard’s responses and meet a high bar for quality in real-world information to keep up with the steep competition that ChatGPT has introduced to their relatively untouched ecosphere.
Get on the AI bandwagon, and check out HGS’s CX chatbots.
Prakash Hariharasubramanian, Director & Practice Lead, Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), HGS
Prakash has led various IPA implementations across multiple industry verticals in his tenure of 7 years with HGS. In his role, Prakash develops IPA practice frameworks, creates IPA solutions, and serves as a key automation evangelist for HGS.
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