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  • Writer's pictureDavid Baker

Google unleashes ChatGPT competitor, the AI chatbot Bard

As widely reported, Google finally has rolled out public access to its new chatbot Bard.

Google is positioning Bard as a direct competitor (if there is such a thing in the AI chatbot world) to the ChatGPT artificial intelligence computer program which already has been garnering unprecedented headlines and attention.

An experimental AI chatbot

Google was careful to label the rollout as an “early experiment” even though it is making the generative AI chatbot available for people in the U.S. and Britain starting Tuesday, with more countries and languages to be added at a later date.

Ironically, Bard, itself, purportedly crafted the announcement in a Google blog post that read, “We’ve learned a lot so far by testing Bard, and the next critical step in improving it is to get feedback from more people.” Google also said it will continue to improve the chatbot and add capabilities, such as going beyond text responses to other mediums like images, audio or video.

How to use Google's Bard

At the moment, Bard is not incorporated directly into Google’s search engine. Instead, it can easily be found on its own website where users can enter their prompts in a text box.

But future iterations will take advantage of the fact that the AI tool was built as a complementary experience to Google Search. Consequently, after Bard generates a response, a “Google it” button attached to the answer lets users open a new tab with a related search results page.

How Google Bard works

Not unlike Bing's chatbot, Bard is powered by a research large language model, which Google has described as a “prediction engine” that generates responses by selecting words it believes are likely to come next. But there are caveats.

Google already has warned that this technology has faults. Perhaps worse, it has been shown to reflect biases and stereotypes or provide false information. Again, just like ChatGPT.

Undaunted, Google maintains that it is using human feedback to improve its system and has built in guardrails to try to keep interactions “helpful and on topic.”

“We'll learn alongside you as we go. With your feedback, Bard will keep getting better and better,” Google’s blog says.

Why It Matters. It isn’t hard to imagine that we will likely see any number of chatbots based on artificial intelligence in the years to come, but it’s much more fun to consider what this will mean to society.

Given that possibilities are limitless, I thought I should ask an authority what it all will mean. And, sure enough, ChatGPT had an answer to my question, “How will artificial intelligence change Society in the coming years?”

After an oddly long pause (to think?), it finally answered,

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a significant impact on society, and its influence is likely to increase in the coming years. Here are some ways in which AI could change society in the near future:

1. Automation: AI-powered automation has the potential to transform industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and customer service. This could lead to job losses, but it could also increase efficiency and reduce costs.

2. Healthcare: AI is being used to develop new treatments, diagnose diseases, and monitor patient health. This could lead to more personalized care and better health outcomes.

3. Education: AI-powered educational tools could help students learn more effectively and provide personalized learning experiences. This could lead to improved educational outcomes and greater access to education.

4. Finance: AI is being used to detect fraud, manage risk, and make investment decisions. This could lead to more secure financial systems and better investment returns.

5. Transportation: AI-powered autonomous vehicles could reduce accidents, traffic congestion, and emissions. This could lead to more efficient and sustainable transportation systems.

6. Cybersecurity: AI is being used to detect and prevent cyber-attacks. This could lead to more secure digital systems and better protection of personal data.

7. Social media: AI-powered algorithms are being used to personalize content and target advertising. This could lead to more engaging and relevant social media experiences.

Overall, the impact of AI on society will depend on how it is developed and deployed. It is important to ensure that AI is used in ways that benefit society as a whole and that address potential ethical concerns.”

Not exactly life-changing, but then again, SkyNet probably never told anyone of its plan to become sentient and eradicate Humanity either. Not, at least, until it was too late to matter.

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