Bard AI 'not search' but 'sparkplug for imagination,' says Google lead

Executives had previously said that the technology might be merged with Google's search engine.
Baba Tamim

Google executives have attempted to clarify Bard AI's capabilities beyond search following the botched chatbot announcement. 

The meeting's primary concerns revolved around the priorities around Bard, according to a leaked conversation.

"Bard and ChatGPT are large language models, not knowledge models. They are great at generating human-sounding text, they are not good at ensuring their text is fact-based," Bard AI product lead Jack Krawczyk said while responding on Dory (Google's internal conversation tool).

"Why do we think the big first application should be Search, which at its heart is about finding true information?"

He acknowledged that it is not a search engine but rather a "collaborative AI service" that may act as a "creative companion to helping you be the sparkplug for imagination."

While Krawczyk admitted that users would inevitably try to use it like search, he said the company had built a new feature called "Search It" and is improving generating queries associated with it.

Google employees puzzled 

The leaders' erratic responses in the meeting left the staff at Google staffers perplexed and raised questions about the company's Business strategy.

Executives had previously said that the technology might merge with search. Thus the attempt to set Bard off from search represents a change in direction from the initial plan.

Google's initial public presentation of Bard was slammed by staff members as being "rushed," "botched," and "un-Googley." Wall Street also penalized the company's parent, Alphabet, over the Bard launch.

Experts worry that when users switch to AI-powered responses that enable more conversational and innovative responses, the fundamental search engine may be replaced.

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The Bard rollout caused worries among investors, which resulted in a drop in Alphabet's stock prices.

It also raised concerns that the company's primary search engine might be in danger of being replaced as users eventually turn to AI-powered responses that enable more conversational and inventive responses.

There has been more confusion as a result of the executives' contradictory responses, according to a CNBC report, quoting Google employees who spoke to the news outlet on the basis of anonymity.

It's still unclear how the AI engine will be incorporated into Google's products going forward, given that Bard focuses on being a creative companion and "Search It" caters to users who want to use it for search, noted the CNBC report published on Friday.

Meanwhile, the chatbot race, started by OpenAI ChatGPT, has seen over ten tech giants launch their versions of AI services in the last month alone.

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