What is Google Bard? What you need to know

An introduction to Google's powerful AI chatbot

What is Google Bard? Alphabet's AI chatbot run by CEO Sundar Pichai.

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Google poses strong competition for big tech rivals Microsoft and OpenAI in the AI chatbot vertical. Google Bard is now powered by Gemini, the latest AI model, which replaces PaLM 2. The new artificial intelligence has reported industry-leading benchmark results and could be the world’s new most powerful VLM (visual language model). But, what is Google Bard?

What is Google Bard?

Google Bard is an AI chatbot powered by the new Gemini AI model. Google’s language model uses information gathered from the internet to generate answers to questions inputted by the user, in a conversational style mimicking human speech patterns.

The tech giant announced the launch back in March. Since then, the conversational AI model has been updated to work in 40 different languages, across 230 countries and territories.

The service is intended as a counter to ChatGPT, the wildly popular chatbot created by OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft. Bard provides similar functions – answering general queries, creating texts from prompts – ranging from poems to essays – and generating code. Essentially, it should provide whatever text you ask it to.

Bard did have a slippery start, however. Back in February, a short clip was released to Twitter unveiling Bard and its capabilities. Unfortunately, this soft launch did not go as planned and resulted in the tech firm receiving a lot of backlash.

The problems stemmed from Bard answering a question about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope incorrectly. This was a bit awkward to put it lightly, but it did bring to light the issues surrounding generative AI and natural language models.

Google Bard features

Let’s have a quick dive into Google Bard’s uses and features.

When the chatbot initially launched it was mainly designed for dialogue applications. You could ask Bard a question on any topic and the AI would be able to give you an answer based on live, real-world information.

Much has changed since then, and now Bard has countless more capabilities. For example, in a recent update, Bard can now code in 20 programming languages like C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, and even Google Sheets functions.

But, that’s not all. We’ve also witnessed other updates such as the ability to export answers to Google Docs and Gmail. As well as, multimodality. This means Google Bard can also understand images as inputs.

Does Google Bard have an API?

You will be able to use the new Gemini API from December 13th onwards. This allows third-party developers to integrate the AI processing ‘brain’ of Bard into their own software and apps. In other words, the Build with Bard API allows you to “integrate Gemini models into your applications with Google AI Studio and Google Cloud Vertex AI.”

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What makes Google Bard different from ChatGPT?

A common question that arises is, what makes Google Bard different from OpenAI’s ChatGPT? Given that both of these machine learning models are similar, it is no surprise.

Well, Bard is specialized to Google’s search engine results. What’s more, it may take a pivotal role in search results. Rather than the most suitable page Google finds online relating to a query, Google Bard may answer a question inputted in the Google search bar, using information collated from the internet.

Furthermore, think about Google’s massive reach. It has around one billion daily users compared to ChatGPT’s 100 million. This means far more people will interact with the language model, shaping its development with a massive amount of feedback.

Google Bard runs on Google’s LaMDA – Language Model for Dialogue Application – which they have been developing for some time. This apparently needs less power than ChatGPT’s GPT 3.5 system, so can cater to more users at once.

What is the difference between Google Bard and ChatGPT 4?

When we speak about ChatGPT 4 we are referring to the new version of ChatGPT that is set to use OpenAI’s new model, GPT-4.

So, what’s the difference between the next generation of ChatGPT and Bard? Well, there really isn’t a major difference between the two. Both are multimodal models that can understand complex information and can act like an AI chat service.

At a fundamental level, ChatGPT 4 runs on a different natural language model, named GPT-4. Whereas, Bard uses Google’s in-house model, LaMDA.

Is Google Bard out yet?

Yes, Google Bard is already out. You can now try the chatbot for free.

Final Thoughts

Google Bard is an exciting prospect. Using AI to optimize search engine results, lessening the need to read through click-baity articles, and finding the best and simplest answer straight away… what could be more useful?

If you can’t access this chatbot, here are some Google Bard alternatives to consider, depending on your needs.