Google owner Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) on Monday said it will unveil a chatbot service, Bard, and more artificial intelligence for its search engine as well as developers, a response to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in their rivalry to lead a new wave of computing.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said it planned its own AI launch for Tuesday.
The cascade of news indicates how Silicon Valley is anticipating great change from so-called generative AI, technology that can generate prose or other content on command and free up white-collar workers’ time.
The ascent of ChatGPT, a chatbot from Microsoft-backed OpenAI that could change how consumers search for information, has been one of the greatest challenges to Google in recent memory.
In a blog post, Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said his company is introducing a conversational AI service called Bard to test users for feedback, followed by a public unveiling in the coming weeks.
He also said Google wants to add AI features to its search engine that synthesize material for elaborate queries, like whether learning piano or guitar is easier. Currently, Google provides text that exists elsewhere on the Web for questions where the answer is direct.
Google’s update for search, the timing of which it did not reveal, indicates how the company is boosting its service while Microsoft is doing the same for Bing, integrating OpenAI’s capabilities into it.
Microsoft has said it wants to embed AI into all its products and on Tuesday plans to inform news outlets on developments it did not specify, with its CEO Satya Nadella, according to an invitation seen by Reuters. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, went on Twitter to say he would also attend the event.
How Google aims to distinguish Bard from OpenAI’s ChatGPT was unclear. Pichai said the new service uses information from the internet; ChatGPT’s knowledge is up to date as of 2021.
“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of our” AI, Pichai said.
Responsible for the new chatbot is LaMDA, Google’s AI that produced text with such skill that a company engineer last year labeled it sentient, a claim the technology titan and scientists widely disregarded.
In a demo of the service, Bard like its rival chatbot asked users to give it a prompt while cautioning its response may be inaccurate or inappropriate. It then bulleted three answers to a question about a space telescope’s discoveries, the demo showed.Buy Bitcoin Now
Google is relying on a version of LaMDA that needs less computing power so it can serve more users and become better with their feedback, Pichai said.
ChatGPT at times has turned down users because of exponential growth, with UBS analysts reporting it had 57 million unique visitors in December overtaking potentially TikTok in adoption.
Google also intends to offer technology tools, first powered by LaMDA and later by other AI, to creators and enterprises starting in March, Pichai said.
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