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Google Admits Its Bard AI Needs Big Improvements

A smartphone running Google and Bard side by side.

The new crop of AI chatbots, including ChatGPT, Microsoft’s new Bing, and Google’s Bard, has garnered much attention. And it’s clear to those paying attention that Google’s offering is currently in third place. This week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed it on The New York Times’ Hard Fork podcast.

Pichai argued that Google is being cautious in its approach to the new technology by stating, “We knew when we were putting Bard out we wanted to be careful. It’s the beginning of a journey for us. There are a few things you have to get right when you put these models out. Getting that user feedback cycle and being able to improve your models, build a trust and safety layer turns out to be an important thing to do.”

The CEO further stated that the reaction to Bard’s apparent lack of sophistication is expected because the company deliberately released a lower-end language model, “We did say we are using a lightweight and efficient version of LaMDA. So in some ways, we put out one of our smaller models out there, what’s powering Bard. And we were careful. So it’s not surprising to me that’s the reaction. But in some ways, I feel like we took a souped-up Civic, kind of put it in a race with more powerful cars.”

Safety in the face of this new technology was a common theme throughout the 48-minute interview, at one point stating that it was their primary concern above everything else “the work we do around privacy, safety, responsible AI, I think, if anything, is more important. And so our commitment there is going to be unwavering, to get all of this right.”

Throughout the rest of the interview, Pichai tackled more questions and concerns about the rise of AI, such as how it will affect people’s jobs, online privacy, and even if the new tech has the potential to wipe out humanity. Of the latter question, the CEO acknowledged that it’s in the “range of possibilities” but compared the issue to climate change by stating, “One of the things that gives me hope about AI, like climate change, is it affects everyone. And so these are both issues that have similar characteristics in the sense that you can’t unilaterally get safety in AI. By definition, it affects everyone. So that tells me the collective will come over time to tackle all of this responsibly.”

The main takeaway from the interview is that Google knows that Bard isn’t as advanced as the new Bing and ChatGPT, and that’s by design. The CEO stresses safety and responsibility in the face of world-changing technology. Bard will improve over time, but Google is committed to doing so in a way that protects its users and the future of the human race.

Source: The New York Times

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »