Google Bard is an AI-based chatbot developed by Google, initially based on the LLM (Large Language Model) LaMDA and, since May 2023, on that of PaLM. It was developed in direct response to the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and released in limited capacity in March 2023 before becoming available in more countries. This chatbot is named after William Shakespeare, who is also known as the “Bard of Avon”.
The results proposed by Bard are based on a statistical algorithm, like ChatGPT. Similar to OpenAI’s competitor ChatGPT, Google Bard can answer a variety of questions in a conversation-like manner. According to Google, Bard provides original and high-quality answers through the use of online resources. Google’s chatbot is powered by Transformer, a neural network model, and LaMDA, Google’s language model. Surprisingly, Transformer and the GPT-3 language model are both the foundations of ChatGPT. Google Research developed and published Transformer in 2017. LaMDA caused a sensation in mid-2022 because one of Google’s software engineers was convinced that LaMDA had developed consciousness.
In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a chatbot based on the GPT-3 family of language models. ChatGPT gained worldwide attention after its release, becoming a viral sensation on the internet. Alarmed by ChatGPT’s potential threat to Google search, Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a company-wide “code red” alert, reallocating several teams to bolster the company’s AI efforts.
In a rare and unprecedented move, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who stepped down as co-CEOs of Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2019, were summoned to emergency meetings with company executives to discuss Google’s response to ChatGPT.
After initially limited access for only a few testers, Google released a far more energy-efficient, “lightweight” version of Bard on March 21, 2023. On May 10, 2023, it was announced at Google I/O ’23 that Google Bard is now available in over 180 countries. The ongoing rollout did not include countries in the European Union, which may have reflected concerns about compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.