Google to roll out Bard chatbot to rival ChatGPT

David Murphy

Google is to launch a chatbot called Bard, to rival ChatGPT. It will be powered by Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) technology. In a blog post, Google and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai described Bard as "an experimental conversational AI service”, and said that Google was opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai wrote. “It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses. 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 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”

Bard will be released initially with the lightweight model version of LaMDA, which requires significantly less computing power, enabling Google to roll it out to more users, and get more feedback.

In the blog post, Pichai noted that while many people think of Google as a place to find answers to everyday questions – “how many keys does a piano have?” –  its search engine is increasingly being used to get deeper insights and understanding – “is the piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each need?”

“AI can be helpful in these moments, synthesizing insights for questions where there’s no one right answer,” Pichai wrote. “Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner.”

He added that these new AI features will begin rolling out on Google Search soon.

Finally, Pichai said that, starting in March, Google will start onboarding individual developers, creators and enterprises so they can try the firm’s Generative Language API, initially powered by LaMDA with a range of models to follow. Over time, Google intends to create a suite of tools and APIs that will make it easy for others to build more innovative applications with AI.