Google opens its ChatGPT competitor to US and UK users

Google opens its ChatGPT competitor to US and UK users

Google has been playing catch-up ever since OpenAI debut ChatGPT last year. 

Google has opened its own conversational artificial intelligence service called Bard to users in the US and the UK as the company plays catch-up to Microsoft and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The service will not be available to users in Ireland yet with Google saying that it will be adding more countries and languages over time.

Bard is powered by Google’s research large language model (LLM), specifically a lightweight and optimised version of its LaMDA technology, which the company unveiled two years ago.

In a blog post, Google’s vice-president for product Sissie Hsiao and vice-president for research Eli Collins said Bard can help “boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas and fuel your curiosity”.

“LLM will be updated with newer, more capable models over time,” the pair said.

Explaining how the programme worked, Ms Hsiao and Mr Collins said it can be thought of as a “prediction engine” which generates response based on a prompt by "selecting, one word at a time, from words that are likely to come next”.

However, the company acknowledged that this system is not without its faults.

“For instance, because they learn from a wide range of information that reflects real-world biases and stereotypes, those sometimes show up in their outputs. And they can provide inaccurate, misleading or false information while presenting it confidently.” By opening up the programme to more users, the company is seeking feedback from users as to how it can be improved.

Google is hoping that Bard will work in tandem with its search function.

Bard will draw from information on the web compared to ChatGPT which was trained on a database from 2021 and before.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT was unveiled in November last year with Microsoft - an investor in the company - integrating the service into its own Bing search function. Microsoft also recently announced that it would be integrating artificial intelligence to its Word, Excel and other office suite software.

Last week, OpenAI released its latest version called ChatGPT4.

It wasn’t until the start of February that Google announced that it would be bringing Bard to market as it attempts to make up lost ground.

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