Google Bard is the newest Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot to come onto the increasingly popular bot scene. Released on March 21st, Bard is entering into a competitive market and will need to compete with the likes of ChatGPT – arguably the most popular AI chatbot around right now – and Microsoft Bing AI.
After a rocky and uncertain lead-up, Bard is now officially in the hands of the public and has already begun to accumulate popularity and rise the ranks with chatbot users. Users that anticipated its release and wanted to be the first to chat with Bard were invited to join a waitlist to get their hands on and test out the metal of this new bot.
So, to any eager users that look forward to conversing with Bard, what can be expected from this new chatbot, and how is Google Bard expected to stand out?
What Exactly Are Chatbots?
Most people will know, use, or at least have heard of Artificial intelligence chatbots by this point. Even if you’re not overly familiar with what the term denotes, most of us use a form of chatbot in our daily lives without even noticing it. For example, pre-recorded messages you can hear on phone lines to places like your bank are a type of chatbot.
Chatbots are in no way a new invention (variations of chatbots have been around for decades), but the latest AI chatbots that have been sweeping through the news are what are often referred to as ‘virtual assistants’ or ‘virtual agents’.
These chatbots can detect written or audio input and reply to what you say conversationally. AI chatbots now use far more complex algorithms and can provide much more detailed responses.
They have made news for even going so far as to draw up university essays, job applications, and answers to some of the biggest questions facing humanity about life and the universe – their current possibilities seem endless.
How Is Google Bard Faring In The AI Chatbot Ranks?
Google Bard was initially announced on February 6th 2023, but the exact release date remained vague. There has been speculation that this was because Google felt the pressure of ChatGPT’s success – it seems Google wasn’t ready to release anything that wasn’t up to the lofty standards ChatGPT had set.
This was followed by a relatively rocky start in a live demo run by Google to introduce Bard to the public.
During the demo, a user asked Bard: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?”. Unfortunately, Bard responded with an incorrect answer, telling the user instead when the first picture of a planet was taken out of our solar system.
The next day, this embarrassing mistake lost Google $100 billion in market value.
Due to this rocky start, Bard came onto the chatbot scene as something of an underdog compared to the other better-loved and better-known chatbots.
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Nonetheless, this chatbot does offer some great traits that even ChatGPT does not. For example, where ChatGPT only offers responses based on data available up to 2021, Bard will be based on up-to-date information – something which will hugely set it apart when it comes to being able to give accurate and current information.
Furthermore, Bard can write sophisticated code, help users to investigate knowledge as opposed to giving face-value answers and has a comprehensive conversational question-answer system.
Luckily, if you’re looking to see some evidence of how Bard is currently faring, one user has already decided to put it to the test by playing a game of Wordle with it to see how it matches up.
Bard was able to confirm its familiarity with the game and its rules before guessing the first-word SLATE – a word generally regarded as one of the best Wordle starting words.
However, despite this impressive start, the user admitted they were left disappointed after everything fell apart around the third-word attempt when Bard tried to guess words over the 5-letter limit. In the end, the user admitted the game couldn’t even be brought to a conclusion.
It seems Bard has a little way to go before it can live up to the standards of the more sophisticated chatbots such as Microsoft’s Bing AI and ChatGPT.
Should We Be Worried About Google Bard, And Other AI Chatbots?
AI chatbots have already become a massive part of modern technology, and it seems their number will only keep increasing and their abilities growing.
Besides Bard and ChatGPT, other bots already on the scene include Microsoft Bing AI, YouChat, ChatSonic NeevaAI and Jasper Chat.
Whilst Bard may have a little way to go before it is as sophisticated as some of the other bots, should we be worried about just how far its, as well as other chatbots, abilities lie?
All of these bots can provide lots of useful functions such as adding a personal touch to technological communication,
But perhaps the main concern the public currently has with bots is that, due to their levels of sophistication, they may be able to replace thousands of jobs, potentially putting lots of people out of work.
Chatbots will be able to give customer service around the clock, act as a sales machine that can anticipate the needs of a customer, work out how to optimise company costs, and more.
But before we get too worried, it’s important to remember that Bard, along with all the other chatbots, also have their drawbacks. They can have lengthy implementation time and manufacturing errors, they may need maintenance, and however much they can imitate a person they will arguably also lack that oh-so-important empathetic human touch.
Whilst it is difficult to disagree that chatbots will make the future of working life look very different, in terms of Google Bard it seems that, for now, it has a little too much catching up to do before its sophistication is such that this bot need cause any concern.