Google has unveiled its next move in the race to dominate generative artificial intelligence: putting the technology directly into many of its most popular products.
The Alphabet Inc. division announced on Tuesday that it would equip services like Gmail, Maps, Docs and YouTube with its Bard chatbot. First released in February, Google’s Bard has lagged behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google’s executives, facing scrutiny from regulators around the globe, have said they will not rush to release AI services.
Google said in a blog post on Tuesday that the new features will let people look up flight information, map routes and watch relevant videos — all from one ongoing chat with Bard.
Google’s latest move follows Microsoft Corp., which revealed plans in March to integrate ChatGPT into its Office suite of apps. Google said that none of the material generated by enterprise customers that Bard interacts with — such as company documents stored in the cloud — will be seen by human reviewers or used to serve ads.
With the updates, Google also said it was adding a feature for people to “double-check” Bard’s responses by showing source material found via Google’s search engine.
“We are presenting (Bard) in a way that it admits when it's not confident,” Reuters quoted an executive as saying, explaining that the intention is to build users’ trust in generative AI through holding Bard accountable.
Reuters added that Alphabet Inc's Google said that Bard will have the ability to fact-check its answers and analyze users' personal Google data as the tech giant scrambles to catch up to ChatGPT in popularity.
The release last year of ChatGPT, a chatbot from Microsoft-backed OpenAI, sparked a race in the tech industry to give consumers access to generative AI technology. At the time, ChatGPT was the fastest-growing consumer application ever and is now one of the top 30 websites in the world.
Bard has not taken off in the same way. In August, it received 183 million visits, 13% of what ChatGPT received, according to website analytics firm Similarweb.
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