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What is BARD, Google’s New AI Chatbot? Explained Simply

Written by Sthitee Mohanty, senior writer

BARD, like ChatGPT, is a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.

By I Kid You Not , in Did You Know Explained , at February 16, 2023 Tags: ,

Written by Sthitee Mohanty, senior writer

Have you heard of ChatGPT? It’s a chatbot that answers questions like a human. It can give you answers on anything – from how to plan a birthday party to how to write code. It’s changing the way we write, think, and even work.

ChatGPT was created by an Artificial Intelligence start-up named OpenAi and Microsoft has invested a lot of money in this, so it’s being called Mictosoft’s ChatGPT. It’s fast become the tool everyone is using – from students doing homework to writers writing articles to people writing code.

Since its release people have been talking about how ChatGPT will replace Google.

Will it?

Not one can say. But, Google has come out with its own AI chat tool called BARD. Here’s all about it.

Bard, Google’s AI ChatBot

Google recently released its own chatbot, called BARD. It was launched BARD on 7 Feb. 2023. The new launch of Google was announced by its CEO Sundar Pichai.

BARD, like ChatGPT, is a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. Much like ChatGPT, when you type something into the Google search bar, BARD will collect all the answers and present them in a clear, collated answer. So instead of giving you links (like Google does at the moment), BARD will collect it all in one place, like a summary, in a matter of seconds. 

It can respond to questions in a conversational tone, and is human-like in its answers, joking and casual. This kind of AI behavior seeks to imitate human conversation.

BARD can be asked for recipes, explanations of complex concepts, answers to general knowledge questions, etc. The bot is supposed to be friendly and approachable. According to Google CEO Pichai, it analyses and delivers easy-to-understand, accurate answers.  

So how is BARD different from ChatGPT?

BARD does almost the exact same thing as ChatGPT.

There’s one major difference between the two – and that’s in the way the two bots are trained.

BARD ChatGPT
Answers questions based on data from the internet in real-time Answers questions based on what it has already learned
It’s not able to access information from the internet in real-time
Can access data from any time, or place. It draws from the massive databases of Google. Its answers aim to be up-to-dateBeen trained on a massive dataset, but so far, this dataset only includes information until 2021.
Developed by Google Developed by OpenAI and later, Microsoft
Works on the programming language LaMDA Works on the programming language GPT 3.5.

So, in short, it seems that so far, ChatGPT’s main drawback is the fact that it cannot access real-time information from the internet, while BARD can.

BARD, says Google, will vastly improve its search capabilities.

More about BARD

BARD draws its answers from the internet, in collaboration with a large language model, called LaMDA.  

What is LaMDa? 

LaMDA, short for “Language Model for Dialogue Applications”, is a large language model that powers BARD AI. Large language models are computer coding programs that help computer systems in understanding and generating text responses to questions asked.

These computer codes work in a texting interface – the question can be a simple text, and the answer will be similarly simple. Such programming applications aim to understand and respond to human language conversational cues.

LaMDA was trained on texted dialogue. Developed by Google’s sister company DeepMind, its current market lightweight version powers the beta BARD AI version. More and more abilities will be added on the basis of tester user feedback.

Quick Facts About Google’s BARD AI

  • BARD is an experimental AI service – it is still ‘learning’. It evolves continuously with the questions it is asked.
  • It provides answers to questions that cannot be answered definitively.
  • The service is still not available to the public at large.
  • BARD prioritizes speed. It aims to be less taxing on a device’s capabilities.
  • Anyone can sign up as a beta tester through the Google smartphone app.
  •  Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, has written a blog introducing BARD, on the official Google website.
  • BARD is presented as a serious competitor against Chat GPT in the Generative AI sector.

Why did BARD cause a loss of $100 Billion recently to the company?

The parent company of Google is called Alphabet. 

Here’s what happened recently.

BARD AI, in its promotional video, shared a wrong answer. This wrong answer, caused by a glitch, cost Alphabet $100 billion due to a fall in stock price. Investors lost faith 

What was the question BARD made a mistake on?

In the advertisement, BARD has given the question “What discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can I tell my 9-year-old about?”. While providing multiple answers, one of the final responses was wrong. BARD responded with the claim that JWST took the very first pictures of a planet outside of the solar system. 

Astronomers on Twitter pointed out the inaccuracy of the answer – it was the Very Large Telescope of ESO. It is confirmed by NASA that the first pictures of exoplanets were taken by the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 2004.

Other Chatbots

The current, most-used chatbot remains ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI with Microsoft backing.
The International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) has developed the tech assistant Watson.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has developed Galactica and BlenderBot.
Amazon has developed AmazonLex.
Chinese search engine Baidu has developed Melody.

Why are chatbots trending?

Chatbots are Generative AI, something that has become increasingly popular now. Generative AI can have a huge impact on the IT industry, especially in the job sector.

These artificial intelligence devices independently generate data or a response to data. One does not need to write a code to help them answer.

Consequences of widespread chatbot use

The ethics of Chatbot use is a hot topic right now. Many argue that the originality of information will be harmed. Copyright and ownership of web data can get blurred by the unrestrained operations of Generative AI like Chatbots. 

Questions of privacy violation are also being asked. Yet, Chatbots remain an efficient way to streamline the current massive surge of media.

What do you think? Have you used ChatGPT?


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