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Google's New AI Chatbot - Bard Explained

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Google's New AI Chatbot - Bard Explained



Google recently announced an AI chatbot named Bard to rival ChatGPT. Bard marks Google's entry into large language models that can have human-like conversations. This post will provide an in-depth look at what we know so far about Bard and Google's ambitions in AI.




What is Bard?

Bard is an experimental conversational AI service developed by Google Research. It utilizes large language models that are trained on massive amounts of data to generate informed responses to natural language inputs..

Bard is built using LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), Google's own large language model for dialogue applications. LaMDA was revealed in 2021 but Bard represents its first practical implementation in a chatbot format.

According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world's knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of their AI.


How Will Bard Work?

Details are still limited but Bard will apparently function as a conversational search engine. Users will be able to ask Bard complex questions and receive tailored answers generated intelligently by the LaMDA model.

Key features expected include:

  • Conversational responses to text or voice queries

  • Ability to provide additional context to ensure accurate responses

  • Natural dialogue flow that feels less robotic than traditional search

  • Citing sources and providing links for more information

  • Identifying if responses contain harmful or misleading content

Bard aims to deliver more helpful information through an intuitive chat interface powered by LaMDA's advanced natural language capabilities.


Bard Uses the LaMDA Model


Bard is fueled specifically by LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications. LaMDA is Google's neural network model designed to engage in free-flowing conversations.

Key facts about LaMDA:

  • Built using Google's Transformer neural architecture

  • Trained on over 1 trillion words and millions of dialogues

  • Can maintain context over long conversations

  • Exhibits human-like reasoning and speech patterns

  • Developed Conversation AI technology like Sensibleness and Specificity Predictors to improve responses

LaMDA powers Bard's ability to sound natural and stay on topic across exchanges.



When Will Bard Launch?

Google announced Bard during their keynote at the 2023 Cloud Next conference. However, the service has yet to be officially launched.

Here's the timeline based on what's known so far:

  • Limited testing began - Google has been testing Bard internally and with select testers. Feedback is helping refine the system.

  • AI test kitchen announced - At Cloud Next, Google announced an AI test kitchen where trusted testers can try prototypes pre-release.

  • Light launch planned - Google indicated they plan a light launch of Bard soon to further learn from real-world use.

  • Broader access later - If testing goes well, Google will gradually open up access more broadly over time.

  • Full capabilities pending - Bard's full capabilities will likely take years more of development to achieve.

Interested users can sign up on the waitlist on the Bard website to get early access as it rolls out.





How Could Bard Disrupt Search and AI?

Bard represents Google's push into the new paradigm of conversational AI. As such, it could significantly impact search and AI down the road:


  • More natural searching - Bard shifts search to an interactive conversation, making it more intuitive.

  • Decreased misinformation - Citing sources and flagging harmful content enhances reliability.

  • Personalized recommendations - Maintaining context allows suggestions tailored to user needs.

  • Expanded accessibility - Voice queries enhance search accessibility for more users.

  • New business applications - Its conversational commerce abilities open up opportunities across industries.

  • Competition with ChatGPT - As a rival to ChatGPT, Bard accelerates the conversational AI race.


The implications are wide-ranging as conversational AI like Bard evolves to change how people find and interact with information.

It remains to be seen how quickly Bard's capabilities will advance and whether it offers distinct advantages over competitive chatbots. But Google is betting big that this technology underpins the future of search.

Bard's introduction kicks off the next era in Google's evolution as AI takes on an increasingly prominent role. It underscores their ambition to lead in developing intelligent interfaces powered by transformational language models.



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