Meet Bard, Google’s answer to ChatGPT

February 8, 2023

Nothing has made the tech industry cower in quite the way that ChatGPT has. The chatbot, which was launched by San Francisco-based OpenAI last November, already has attracted a multibillion-dollar investment from Microsoft.

Microsoft reputedly invested in OpenAI in order to super-charge its search engine, Bing, with ChatGPT, which could have a widespread release this spring.

Concurrently, other major tech players—Google, in particular—are attempting to compete. The search giant has just announced its answer to the wildly popular chatbot, and it’s called BardAI, reports Gizmodo.

BardAI is Google’s own experimental chatbot that is built with the company’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications, or LaMDA. LaMDA is the same AI engine that an ex-Google engineer warned us was sentient, but the company hopes that LaMDA is powerful enough that it will make Bard Google’s rival to ChatGPT.

Bard is currently only available to testers, but Google says that BardAI is using a lightweight version of LaMDA, so that it can scale easily after the trial period and reach more users.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a company blog post, adding, “Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a nine-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”

Google has also added some AI capability to its basic search engine function, because, as Pichai puts it, “people are turning to Google for deeper insights and understanding.” In other words, Google wants its search engine to provide quicker answers to deeper, potentially multi-part questions. The company also indicated that the search engine’s interface may change slightly too, in order to feed users more in-depth answers to questions in an easier way.

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its release to the general public late last year. As Big Tech has taken notice, Google appears to be the first to release its own version of the chatbot while others, like Microsoft, have decided to hop on the bandwagon.

Research contact: @Gizmodo