ChatGPT AI just Got Some Big Competition

Google announced their Bard AI, a direct competitor to the Microsoft funded ChatGPT.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

artificial intelligence

Since its release to the general public in November, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has become a major sensation, leading to the rapid acceleration of artificial intelligence in everyday life. Now The Verge is reporting that Google is prepared to enter the market with their own AI, named Bard. Mentioned in Google’s announcement as an “experimental conversational AI service,” Bard is taking the fight directly to ChatGPT and the software’s billion-dollar backer, Microsoft.

Google’s new AI appears, on the surface, to have a major advantage over ChatGPT in that Bard should be more up-to-date. As it stands today, ChatGPT only has knowledge of events until mid-2021. Bard “draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality response” according to Google’s press release, hinting that information will be far more topical through their AI service.

This is not Google’s first AI program, though it is by far the most extensive. The companies LaMDA program was accessible to the public in a severely stripped-down capacity while AI-assisted searches were first demoed two years ago. At the time, the more conversational model of searching the internet gave less than desirable results and Google quickly pulled the program from public view.

ChatGPT’s runaway success, from businesses to classrooms, has seemingly forced Google’s hand around their approach to AI. Microsoft’s recent $10 billion dollar investment in OpenAI is expected to shortly result in Bing becoming powered by the AI program. In fact, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement about Bard just one day before a Microsoft AI showcase is set to air.

The computing giant has also discussed adding ChatGPT capabilities to the rest of the popular Office 365 suite of tools. Google currently has the largest market share of the very lucrative search-engine market, though an AI-powered Bing poses a threat to the ubiquitous search engine. Already users are treating ChatGPT like a search engine despite the lack of up-to-date information.

Google’s search engine has been quietly expanding AI capabilities over the last year but it will soon become more blatant to users. Pichai explained in his announcement that future features will include breaking down a complex topic into easily digestible parts. The example provided was a user searching for playing the guitar, which can then produce results including tutorials on getting started as a beginner, relevant blogs from musicians with further tutorials, and additional perspectives on playing guitar from musicians that already play other instruments.

It’s hard to imagine how powerful Google’s search engine will be with the extra AI functionality working in the background. The threat from Microsoft has woken the sleeping giant into public announcements, including their own upcoming event focusing on AI this Wednesday. Google has faced competition before, from Yahoo! and AskJeeves among many other now defunct search engines, but this may be the companies biggest test yet.

Even in its current limited form, ChatGPT has disrupted multiple industries and with its upcoming integration into Office 365, soon everyday Excel spreadsheets may be AI-powered. Google’s Bard AI might revolutionize how information is searched and consumed for the next few decades, or it might expose the current limitations of what AI can achieve. Either way, two technological giants are about to do battle and it’s the everyday user that will ultimately benefit from the billion-dollar competition.