Google updates Bard to compete with ChatGPT

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In November 2022, ChatGPT was first released by open AI. Google (and everyone else) has been catching up ever since.

Google, with its own conversational AI tool, Bard, is no longer catching up and looking to go well beyond ChatGPT’s capabilities. At today’s Google I/O conference, multiple updates and innovations were announced to fuel the continued evolution of Bard now and in the months to come.

First announced in February, Bard struggled early to gain traction for a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that unlike ChatGPT, which is freely and widely available, Bard had a waiting list with limited availability. . Google is now eliminating the waiting list and opening up Bard to a global audience.

Google also announced a number of innovations designed to outperform ChatGPT, including multi-language support, visual feedback, the ability to export, and new integrations.


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“Great Language Models have captured the world’s imagination, changing the way we think about the future of computing,” Sissie Hsiao, vice president and general manager of Google Assistant and Bard, said during a Google I/O keynote. . “We launched Bard as a limited access experiment on a large, lightweight language model to get feedback and iterate. And ever since, the team has been hard at work making improvements fast and releasing quickly.”

Shakespeare is not the power behind the Bard, it is PaLM 2

The term “bard” is a word used to describe a storyteller and is a nickname also commonly associated with the famous English playwright William Shakespeare.

Bard’s words are not written by Shakespeare or any other human being (at least, not directly), but are instead generated from Google’s newest PaLM 2 large language model (LLM), which was also announced at the Google I/O event today.

PaLM 2 provides Bard with significantly improved generative AI capabilities that surpass the initial functionality that Bard released earlier this year.

“With PaLM 2, Bard’s math, logic, and reasoning skills took a big step forward, which bolstered his ability to help developers with programming,” Hsiao said. “Bard can now collaborate on tasks like code generation, debugging, and explaining code snippets.”

With code generation, Bard also goes a step further in its attempt to help surpass the capabilities of OpenAI. Hsiao said that starting next week, Bard will integrate accurate code citations to help developers understand exactly where code snippets are coming from.

What good is a Bard if you can’t share his work?

Another limitation of the original Bard was that responses and generated content stayed in Bard, but that too is about to change.

Hsiao announced that starting today, Bard will add export actions for Gmail and Google Docs, making it easier to integrate generated content. Going a step further, he announced that more extensibility is coming to Bard with the release of tools and extensions.

“As you collaborate with Bard, you’ll be able to take advantage of Google services and partner extensions to enable you to do things that were never possible before,” Hsiao said.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Bard will be much more vocal.

To date, both ChatGPT and Bard have been text-based tools that provide text-based responses. That’s another area where Google is looking to outdo its rival.

In the coming weeks, Google will update Bard to provide images as part of prompt responses.

“It’s amazing what Bard can already do with text; but images are such a fundamental part of how we learn and express ourselves,” Hsiao said. “So, in the next few weeks, Bard will become more visual, both in his responses and in his prompts.”

Going beyond what Bard can do directly with images, Hsiao said there will be an integration with Adobe Firefly to allow users to generate entirely new images directly within Bard.

Bard becomes multilingual

English isn’t the only language Google users speak and soon won’t be the only language Bard supports either.

The plan is for Bard to support 40 different languages, starting today with Japanese and Korean, with more to come in the coming months.

“It’s amazing to see the rate of progress so far with more advanced models. So many new capabilities and the potential for even more people to collaborate with Bard,” Hsiao said.

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