Google Invites Public To Test ‘Bard’ Its New Artificial Intelligence Tool

Google is inviting users to try out Bard, its entry into the generative AI race.

Writing on the Googleblog, company officials said access to the artificial intelligence (AI) program would begin Tuesday (March 21) in the U.S. and U.K., with plans to expand to other countries and languages over time.

“You can use Bard to boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas and fuel your curiosity. You might ask Bard to give you tips to reach your goal of reading more books this year, explain quantum physics in simple terms or spark your creativity by outlining a blog post,” wrote Sissy Hsiao and Eli Collins, the company’s vice presidents of product and research.

“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.”

Read more: Google Releases New Artificial Intelligence Tool For Searches

First announced last month, Bard uses a research large language model (LLM), which the company describes as a “prediction engine,” generating responses when given a prompt by selecting, one word at a time, from words most likely to come next.

“While LLMs are an exciting technology, they’re not without their faults,” wrote Hsiao and Collins. “For instance, because they learn from a wide range of information that reflects real-world biases and stereotypes, those sometimes show up in their outputs.” 

They added that LLMs could also provide false, misleading or inaccurate information while confidently presenting this information. That’s a criticism that’s been lodged at ChatGPT, the generative AI tool from OpenAI.

In Google’s case, one of these mistakes was quite costly. Its parent company Alphabet lost $100 billion from its market cap last month when Bard gave an inaccurate answer to a query.

As noted here last month, Google is in a battle with Microsoft for ownership of the AI space, with the latter company trying to crash the internet search space that the former has ruled for the last two decades.