Friday, February 24, 2023

Google’s Bard

Sundar Pichai (via John Gruber, Hacker News):

We’ve been working on an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, that we’re calling Bard. And today, we’re taking another step forward by opening it up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.

Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses. Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.


Now, our newest AI technologies — like LaMDA, PaLM, Imagen and MusicLM — are building on this, creating entirely new ways to engage with information, from language and images to video and audio. We’re working to bring these latest AI advancements into our products, starting with Search.

Isabel Angelo (via Hacker News):

Unfortunately a simple google search would tell us that JWST actually did not “take the very first picture of a planet outside of our own solar system” and this is literally in the ad for Bard so I wouldn’t trust it yet

Jennifer Elias (via Hacker News):

Staffers took to the popular internal forum Memegen to express their thoughts on the Bard announcement, referring to it as “rushed,” “botched” and “un-Googley,” according to messages and memes viewed by CNBC.

On Monday, Google got ahead of a Microsoft event the following day and had Pichai publicly divulge some details of the company’s chatbot technology.

Paul Graham:

What happens if you take too long to launch: your product is defined by its relationship to whatever launched first.

That casual appositive phrase is worth more to Microsoft than any news story.

Nick Heer:

The original point of search engines was to be directed to websites of interest. But that has not been the case for years. People are not interested in visiting websites about a topic; they, by and large, just want answers to their questions. Google has been strip-mining the web for years, leveraging its unique position as the world’s most popular website and its de facto directory to replace what made it great with what allows it to retain its dominance. Artificial intelligence — or some simulation of it — really does make things better for searchers, and I bet it could reduce some tired search optimization tactics. But it comes at the cost of making us all into uncompensated producers for the benefit of trillion-dollar companies like Google and Microsoft.


Update (2023-03-21): Google (via Hacker News):

Join the waitlist and try it for yourself.

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