‘Things will go wrong’, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warns about AI chatbot Bard

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has warned employees that ‘Things will go wrong’, once the company’s AI chatbot Bard enters the public domain. Read the full email.

| Updated on: Mar 23 2023, 14:31 IST
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Sundar Pichai
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Know all about the warning email Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent to his employees as the rollout for AI chatbot Bard begins. (AFP)

Recently, Google rolled out its AI chatbot Bard for public testing. The chatbot, which is the company's answer to OpenAI's ChatGPT, is a new contender in the artificial intelligence space and as such, it can be quite prone to errors. In fact, during its unveiling earlier this year, the chatbot made a glaring mistake when highlighting astronomical achievements by the NASA James Webb Space Telescope. And perhaps that's why, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a cautionary email to the employees warning them that once Bard enters the public domain ‘Things will go wrong'.

As per a report by CNBC, which procured the email, Pichai sent the 80,000 Google employees an email on Tuesday that said, “As more people start to use Bard and test its capabilities, they'll surprise us. Things will go wrong”. He also highlighted the importance of feedback when it comes to improving Bard, despite the risks. “The user feedback is critical to improving the product and the underlying technology,” he added.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sends cautionary email

In the email, Pichai also spoke about the role the employees played in company-wide testing of Google Bard as it enters public testing. At the moment, people in the USA and the UK can sign up for early access to the AI chatbot and to test out its features. The registering users will be put on a waitlist and the access will be given to selected users over a period of time. Right now, the chatbot isn't available to test in India, but the Google CEO stated that Bard will be rolled out in other countries soon.

Check the full email below:

Hi, Googlers

Last week was an important week in Al with our announcements around Cloud, Developer, and Workspace. There's even more to come this week as we begin to expand access to Bard, which we first announced in February.

Starting today, people in the US and the UK can sign up at bard.google.com. This is just a first step, and we'll continue to roll it out to more countries and languages over time.

I'm grateful to the Bard team who has probably spent more time with Bard than anything or anyone else over the past few weeks. Also hugely appreciative of the 80,000 Googlers who have helped test it in the company-wide dogfood. We should be proud of this work and the years of tech breakthroughs that led us here, including our 2017 Transformer research and foundational models such as PalM and BERT.

Even after all this progress, we're still in the early stages of a long Al journey. As more people start to use Bard and test its capabilities, they'll surprise us. Things will go wrong. But the user feedback is critical to improving the product and the underlying technology.

We've taken a responsible approach to development, including inviting 10,000 trusted testers from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we'll continue to welcome all the feedback that's about to come our way. We will learn from it and keep iterating and improving.

For now, I'm excited to see how Bard sparks more creativity and curiosity in the people who use it. And I look forward to sharing the full breadth of our progress in Al to help people, businesses and communities as we approach I/O in May.


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First Published Date: 23 Mar, 13:36 IST
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