Google has offered some of its US- and UK-based Pixel superfans early access to Bard, the business’s retort to ChatGPT.
The select users can try it out and offer feedback to train Bard in real-life use.
Those without an exclusive invite can sign up for a waitlist for when Bard reaches the next stage of its rollout.
What Is Bard?
Like ChatGPT, Bard is a generative AI engine powered by LLMs, including Google LaMDA.
Many may remember news swirling around LaMDA last year when a Google employee raised concerns that it may be sentient.
Nevertheless, Google continues to test and finetune the model, which this next stage of the rollout will help with.
As it does so, Google is tagging Bard as a predictive engine, generating replies to user prompts.
In a way, the search engine leader already offers similar capabilities. Consider how it suggests ways to finish a sentence in Gmail and Google Docs.
However, Bard promises to be much more advanced. Indeed, it answers user questions, helps users to generate ideas, and makes lists.
After receiving a response, users can ask follow-ups to delve deeper and engage in a fully-fledged conversation, as Bard maintains conversational context.
Google Is Positioning Bard Differently from ChatGPT
Google promotes Bard as an assistive tool to “boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas, and fuel your curiosity,” highlighting how the generative AI may supplement its search engine.
Current users can also follow a path to the existing search engine to look for additional answers.
Yet, in pushing the ideation and curiosity motif, Google indicates that Bard aims to support creativity, generate snippets of information, and serve up suggestions.
Unlike ChatGPT, it is not a tool to write entire essays – which is fast becoming a significant concern in the educational space.
Moreover, it doesn’t always generate an answer when it doesn’t know. In these scenarios, it will often state: “I can’t help you with that.”
However, that does not mean it will not churn out incorrect information every now and then (more on this in the section below).
In addition, Bard does trail ChatGPT-4 in several ways. For instance, GPT-4 can mimic the user’s style, analyze images, and generate code.
Now, Google has announced plans to enable Bard to do the latter, make it available in additional languages, and enable voice-based applications.
Yet, ChatGPT already enables the latter, as the following video exemplifies.
Nonetheless, Google has underlined its commitment to keeping all its work with Bard grounded in AI principles. Indeed, it has built guardrails into Bard that prevent it from sharing illegal, harmful, and sexually explicit information.
Additional emphasis on this narrative comes after Microsoft endured bad press after laying off its ethical AI team soon before releasing GPT-4.
Like ChatGPT, Bard Is Not Always Right
After Bard made a highly-publicized mistake during Google’s first demo, the search engine leader clarified that the generative AI engine is error-prone.
Indeed, during their first tests of Bard, users received a notification as they opened the application, which stated:
- “Bard is an experiment.”
- “Bard will not always get it right.”
- “Bard will get better with feedback.”
Such a disclaimer comes after numerous social media posts where GPT users showcased how the solution generated incorrect answers to their questions.
There are also several stories of GPT insisting it is correct, telling users they are wrong, and getting angry. Although, experts have suggested that it is simply mimicking humans.
Such behaviors are something that Google and OpenAI must think through.
Yet, Google hopes that as Bard and the LLMs powering it develops, the AI engine will become more sophisticated, harnessing the internet to continually access more data points.
How Will Bard and ChatGPT Impact Me?
Analysts investigating the impact of GPT models on the US labor market have found that around 80 percent of employees could have at least ten percent of their work tasks affected by the introduction of GPTs.
Meanwhile, 19 percent of workers may see at least half of their tasks impacted.
Yet, let’s zoom in on the customer experience environment. The likes of NICE, Five9, and Talkdesk have already released GPT-powered solutions to enhance customer service.
These involve extracting intent from, auto-summarizing, and auto-categorizing customer conversations. All this can help with post-contact processing and interaction analysis.
GPT may also help make better sense of this data in the near future, paving the way for custom data charting, graphing, trending, routing, and more.
The possibility to improve conversational AI flows is also exciting. Nuance has already built GPT into its virtual agent environment, allowing it to take over when the customer asks a question the bot has not been trained to handle.
Yet, this is only the start, with generative AI erasing much of the modeling traditionally required to innovate. As such, it has somewhat leveled the conversational AI playing field.
Moreover, it may completely change how businesses build bots and other tools, such as websites, self-service portals, and more.
Indeed, the creator may soon type in what they want their bot to do, and the software will generate a virtual agent that the business can tweak, optimize, and embed into their customer experience. That is the future of all low-/no-code innovation.
Where Can I Try Bard Out for Myself?
Sign up for the waitlist for Bard by visiting: bard.google.com
For now, those on the waitlist must be located in the US or UK and be 18 or older.
Indeed, its rollout is cautiously slow. Yet, as the testing process accelerates, Google plans to make Bard available in more countries and languages.