Google’s head of ChatGPT rival Bard reassures staff the software is ‘not search’


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Google is feeling the warmth—from staff. With Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing making waves and Google’s reply to it, Bard, struggling a “demoralizing” demo final month, employees wish to know the sport plan with synthetic intelligence and search.

At an all-hands assembly Thursday, Google employees had the possibility to pepper CEO Sundar Pichai and Bard product lead Jack Krawczyk with questions, in response to CNBC, which stated it obtained audio of the assembly.

One employee requested the next query through Google’s inside discussion board Dory, in response to CNBC:

“Bard and ChatGPT are giant language fashions, not data fashions. They’re nice at producing human-sounding textual content, they aren’t good at making certain their textual content is fact-based. Why do we predict the massive first utility must be Search, which at its coronary heart is about discovering true info?”

Krawczyk, making his all-hands debut, shortly responded, “I simply wish to be very clear: Bard just isn’t search.”

As a substitute, he stated, it’s “a collaborative A.I. service.”

“The magic that we’re discovering in utilizing the product is admittedly round being this inventive companion to serving to you be the spark plug for creativeness, discover your curiosity, and many others.,” he stated. However, he added, “We are able to’t cease customers from attempting to make use of it like search.”

After all, search may be very a lot on the minds of Google traders and staff. When OpenAI shared its A.I. chatbot ChatGPT with the general public in late November, ideas instantly turned to how the know-how would possibly disrupt Google’s search dominance. 

Fears about that have been hardly allayed when Microsoft launched a ChatGPT-powered rival to Google search final month. (It’s out there to a restricted variety of customers for now however will likely be extra extensively out there quickly.)

Google responded final month with a video of a demo of Bard, however that was botched by a factual error from the chatbot in regards to the James Webb Area Telescope. Wall Avenue promptly punished Google mother or father Alphabet, sending its shares down sharply.

One other query on Thursday was in regards to the demo, in response to CNBC, with an worker asking, “The primary public demo was demoralizing, despatched our inventory right into a nosedive, and invited large media protection. What actually occurred?”

“Questions like this may be truthful and we wish to reiterate the truth that Bard has not launched,” Krawczyk replied. “We acknowledged to the world that that is one thing that we’re experimenting with—we’re testing it. However there’s plenty of pleasure within the business proper now.”

One other employee reportedly commented, “Launching AI looks like a knee-jerk response with out a technique.”

“I disagree with the premise of this query” Pichai responded, noting Google has been “engaged on A.I. for a very long time.” 

Certainly, OpenAI was established in 2015 “as a counterweight to Google” in A.I., Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who helped begin it, tweeted final month. He additionally complained that OpenAI had “change into a closed supply, maximum-profit firm successfully managed by Microsoft.” (Musk is now reportedly working to ascertain a rival to OpenAI.)

However Google, although it’s lengthy been sturdy on the A.I. analysis entrance, has way more to lose than anybody else if customers begin Googling much less and turning to the A.I. chatbots of others extra for his or her search queries. 

Google didn’t instantly reply to Fortune’s request for feedback.

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