It is slowly catching up with Microsoft-backed ChatGPT as Google invites people in the U.K. and the U.S. to test its A.I. chatbot, Bard.
It is widely acknowledged that Bird, ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence apps are the most significant technological advances since the iPhone, generating essays, poems, or computer code at the user’s command.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday, after testing Bird with 80,000 Google employees, the bot would be tested with the U.K. and U.S. public as a “first step” before being rolled out in other languages and countries.
Pichai told staff in a memo seen by AFP, “The more people test Bard, the more we’ll be surprised.”
“Things are going to go wrong. But user feedback is important for improving the product and underlying technology,” added Pichai, who has faced criticism for rushing Microsoft.
At launch, people who want to play with Bard can sign up for a waiting list on bard.google.com, which is distinctly separate from the tech giant’s search engine.
“We’ve learned a lot from Bird’s experiment so far, and the next important step to improve it is getting feedback from more people,” Google vice presidents Sissy Xiao and Eli Collins said in a blog post.
Despite chatbots’ exciting potential, Hsiao and Collins warn that they also have drawbacks.
Google has so far proceeded more cautiously in its rollout of generative A.I. to consumers, unlike the likes of Microsoft, making the products available despite reports of problems quickly.
ChatGPT’s OpenAI is backed by Microsoft, which said it would finance the research company to billions of dollars earlier this year.
Asked by AFP how its product differs from ChatGPT, Bird said that, unlike its Microsoft-backed rival, it is “able to access and process real-world information through Google search and match my response to the search results. “
The bot also underlines that it is still “under development, while ChatGPT is released to the public. This means I constantly learn and improve while ChatGPT remains relatively unchanged.
OpenAI has recently released a long-awaited update to its A.I. OpenAI says its new technology is safer and more accurate than its predecessors.
GPT-4, now ChatGPT Plus, is available to the general public with more of the new model’s firepower, OpenAI’s paid subscription plan and an AI-powered version of Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Microsoft has said its rapid adoption of generative A.I. has boosted usage of its Bing search engine in recent weeks, but it is still a clear underdog to Google, which holds 85 per cent of the global search engine market.