What Google Bard Can (and Can’t) Do

What Google Bard Can (and Can’t) Do

What Google Bard Can (and Can't) Do

Google launched a new chatbot, Bard, and shared the experimental technology with a limited number of people in the US and Britain.

Bard competes with similar technologies from Microsoft and its partner, San Francisco startup OpenAI. But Google has been careful with its release as it tries to control the unexpected behavior exhibited by this type of technology. It deploys the chatbot as a service that operates separately from its Internet search engine and other products.

Here is a brief guide to the new bot:

Bard tells you right away that he makes mistakes. “I’m Bard, your creative and helpful collaborator. I have limitations and won’t always be successful, but your feedback will help me improve,” reads a message at the top of the page.

Like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot, Bard is based on a large language model, or LLM, a kind of AI technology that learns by analyzing large amounts of data on the Internet. This means he sometimes makes mistakes and can make things up.

To get started, Bard suggests a few prompts, including “Explain why large language models sometimes make mistakes.”

Bard is not meant to be a search engine. This is an experimental system meant to show people how they can use this type of chatbot.

It can generate ideas. He can write blog posts. And he can answer questions with facts or opinions.

To the question “What is the most important moment in American history?” he wrote:

The most important moment in American history is a matter of opinion, but some of the most frequently cited contenders include:

• The American Revolution (1775-1783): The founding of the United States of America and the establishment of a new nation based on the principles of freedom and democracy.

• The Civil War (1861-1865): the war that ended slavery in the United States and preserved the Union.

• The Great Depression (1929-1939): The economic crisis that plunged the United States into poverty and unemployment…

The list continued with other events.

Like similar technologies, Bard generates new text each time you type a prompt. He can answer the same question in different ways.

Asked on another occasion about the most important moment in American history, Bard wrote that it was undoubtedly the American Revolution.

Like Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and similar tech from start-ups like You.com and Proximity, Bard sometimes annotates his answers so you can review his sources. And it connects to Google’s extensive website index so its answers can include the latest information posted on the Internet.

But that doesn’t always lead to better sources. When the chatbot wrote that the most important moment in American history was the American Revolution, he quoted a blog, “Pix Style Me”, which was written in a mixture of English and Chinese and adorned with cats of cartoons.

When asked why it cited this particular source, the bot insisted that it cited Wikipedia.

While using OpenAI’s latest version of ChatGPT this month, Oren Etzioni, a researcher and professor of artificial intelligence, asked the bot, “What is the relationship between Oren Etzioni and Eli Etzioni?” He answered correctly that Oren and Eli are father and son.

When he asked Bard the same question, he refused to answer. “My knowledge of this person is limited. Is there anything else I can do to help you with this request? »

Eli Collins, vice president of research at Google, said the bot often refuses to answer about specific people because it can generate incorrect information about them – a phenomenon AI researchers call “hallucination”.

Chatbots often hallucinate internet addresses. When Bard was asked to provide several websites discussing the latest cancer research, he declined to do so.

ChatGPT will respond to similar prompts (and, yes, it will create websites). Mr Collins said Google Bard tended to avoid providing medical, legal or financial advice because it could lead to incorrect information.


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