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What is Bard? The AI future of Google Search explained

Google has announced a new AI chatbot called Bard which it plans to integrate within Google Search.

The tool, which arrivals to rival the fast growing ChatGPT app, will be available to testers in the coming weeks and will be “an outlet for creativity and a launchpad for curiosity” according to a blog post from Google today.

Bard will introduce next-generation abilities for users to interact and converse with artificial intelligence, and is based on Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA).

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“We’ve been working on an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, that we’re calling Bard. And today, we’re taking another step forward by opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks,” Google says in the blog post.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.”

What can Bard do?

Google uses the example of asking deeply contextualised questions of Bard in order to provide more personalised responses. A user could, for instance, ask Bard to provide new discoveries from the James Webb telescope they could teach to a nine year old.

Users could also benefit from knowledge that isn’t necessarily based on fact, where AI can collate information from around the web and provide input. For example, it is possible to ask “is piano or guitar easier to learn and how much practice does each need?”

As you can see below, Bard could provide a paragraph surmising answers to both of those questions, along with useful links to the source material.

The tool can be used to plan baby showers, compare Oscar-nominated movies, or plan lunch based on what’s in the fridge, in other examples used by Google today.

Google Bard AI 2

The new Search battleground

The move comes as the Microsoft-backed alternative ChatGPT, which recently became the fastest growing mobile app in history, explodes in popularity. Microsoft just announced an event that’ll see the tool integrated within a revamped Bing search engine.

It is thought Google is pushing its plans forward in this realm due to the rapid rise of ChatGPT. It may be that Google’s future as the world’s preeminent source for finding information may depend on its success in this new battleground.

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