Google’s new AI chatbot takes on ChatGPT

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Feb 2023

Google is testing its newly-developed conversational artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, Apprentice Bard, which is expected to rival AI start-up OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The new chatbot has the ability to interact in conversational dialogue form, allowing users to ask questions and receive detailed answers, similar to ChatGPT.

In a blog post shared yesterday, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai notes that as part of the tech giant’s continued investment in AI across the board, its AI units – Google AI and DeepMind – have over the years been developing advanced generative AI and large language models.

Two years ago, Google unveiled next-generation language and conversation capabilities powered by its Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA). The family of conversational neural language models is able to draw on information from the web and engage in a free-flowing way about an endless number of issues.

“Powered by LaMDA, Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of Google’s large language models,” notes Pichai.

“Today, we’re taking a step forward by opening Bard up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.

“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’s Transformer research project and white paper in 2017 now form the basis of many of its generative AI applications that have been developed today.

The tech giant will combine external feedback with its own internal testing to make sure Bard’s responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and ‘groundedness’ in real-world information, Pichai adds.

Microsoft last month announced a “multibillion-dollar” investment in OpenAI, the start-up company that developed viral bot ChatGPT. It has also added ChatGPT to its Azure cloud service, as it looks to dominate the world of AI.

Described by many as a double-edged sword, ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, is a natural language processing tool driven by AI, which is able to have human-like conversations and respond to countless questions, often with useful information.

Since its launch in November, the chatbot has gone viral, as a result of its ability to write short stories, essays, songs, poems and even code.

While users have been blown away by its “superhuman” abilities, experts have raised ongoing concerns about several issues − such as misinformation, inaccuracies, bias and cyber security − which they say still need to be improved before ChatGPT is considered a fully reliable source of information.