Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has announced plans to upgrade the company’s experimental AI chatbot Bard in response to criticism and comparisons with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot. Pichai promises that the upgrades, leveraging Google’s more capable PaLM models, will bring Bard up to speed with its competitors and enhance its performance across various tasks.

Promised Upgrades and Comparisons:

In an interview on The New York Times’ Hard Fork podcast, Pichai acknowledged that Bard is currently running on a “lightweight and efficient version of LaMDA,” an AI language model designed for delivering dialogue. He compared the current iteration of Bard to “a souped-up Civic” racing against more powerful cars.

Pichai revealed that Google would soon upgrade Bard to the more advanced PaLM models, which would enhance its capabilities in areas such as reasoning, coding, and answering math questions. These upgrades are expected to roll out within the week, bringing Bard closer to the level of ChatGPT and Bing chatbot.

Bard’s Initial Reception and Performance:

Since its public release on March 21st, Bard has failed to attract the attention or acclaim that its rivals, ChatGPT and Bing chatbot, have garnered. In tests conducted by The Verge, Bard consistently underperformed compared to its competitors. Although Bard can respond to a wide range of questions, its answers are often less fluent, less imaginative, and less reliant on reliable data sources.

Google Bard

Pichai suggested that Bard’s limited capabilities were due to a cautious approach within Google, as the company wanted to ensure that more capable models could be managed effectively before they were released.

Addressing AI Development Concerns:

Pichai also touched upon concerns regarding the rapid development of AI and the potential threats it poses to society. He acknowledged the merit in the open letter signed by Elon Musk and top AI researchers, which called for a six-month pause on AI development. Pichai emphasized the importance of hearing concerns, engaging in debate, and understanding that no single company can get AI development right.

Although Pichai agreed that AI is an area that requires regulation, he suggested that it would be better to apply existing regulations within industries such as privacy and healthcare, rather than creating new laws specifically for AI.

As Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai promises Bard upgrades to rival ChatGPT and Bing chatbot, it is clear that the race for AI chatbot supremacy is far from over.  With tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI pushing the boundaries of AI, the future of chatbots and their potential impact on society remains a topic of intense debate and scrutiny.