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Meet Bard AI, Google’s Flagship AI Chatbot

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
Google’s Bard AI has arrived in the US and UK with a few different offerings than its competitors in the space, including OpenAI and Microsoft — here’s what you need to know.

Google is finally opening public access to Bard AI, its flagship competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The big tech company announced the news in a blog post on Tuesday that was partially written by Bard AI and a few of its executives. Google’s generative artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot is open to users in the US and UK who sign up to join a waitlist. Disclaimer: you cannot join the waitlist from a Google Workspace account; access is only granted to users with personal/singular Google email addresses.

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Say hello to another AI chatbot

The public launch of Google’s Bard AI chatbot comes a month and a half after company CEO Sundar Pichai first teased the new product. Google describes the project as an early experiment that might share inaccurate or inappropriate responses in its early iterations. Much like ChatGPT, Bard is powered by a research large language model and will be updated with newer versions regularly. Bard AI is conversational and may get a lot wrong this first time around, but Google is already letting the public know that the product isn’t perfect in its current phase (and it isn’t meant to be).

Like the other AI chatbots on the market, the more users interact with Bard AI, the more the AI tech learns to get it right the next time. One thing about Bard that sticks out — that the platform will sometimes let a user preview a few different draft responses before continuing a conversation. With ChatGPT, you can edit a query or ask again if the response isn’t satisfactory; with Bard AI, Google is curious about the benefits of providing more wiggle room for users so Bard can nail down responses that are as accurate as possible from the start.

And, of course, this chatbot has a “Google it” button to get to search queries in a new tab quickly, an unavoidable detail in the inevitable Bard AI vs. ChatGPT conversation.

To keep quality high while keeping safety in mind, Google implemented a few restrictions in Bard, like limiting the number of exchanges in a given dialogue. The AI chatbot will roll out to more countries and expand language options soon.

What makes Bard AI different?

Honestly, it’s hard to tell at this point what makes the Bard AI chatbot exceptional compared to other competitors in the space, like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing and Copilot AI projects. They are all powered by similar generative AI software and interact with users via conversational chatbots. Right now, I think it boils down to which big tech company consumers already put their trust in to use. Naturally, users may drift to Bard if they are avid Googlers or otherwise sufficiently brand-loyal.

For now, let’s hold off on sharing too many hot takes about this rapidly evolving landscape. This reporter joined the waitlist to try Bard AI — you can, too! — so stay tuned for more in-depth updates on ChatGPT’s new rival.

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