What is Google Bard?

These days, Google is all-in on AI, and Google Bard is its flagship product. It’s an AI chatbot, and it’s very much meant to be a rival to the ever-popular ChatGPT.

And while it does replicate a lot of what ChatGPT does, Google has become highly invested in this space and has already made some significant updates to the tool that take it beyond what ChatGPT can do.

What is Google Bard?

Like ChatGPT, Google Bard is a conversational AI chatbot that can generate text of all kinds. You can ask it any question, as long as it doesn’t violate its content policies, Bard will provide an answer. Although Bard hasn’t officially replaced Google Assistant, it’s a far more powerful AI assistant.

That’s because it’s based on Google’s own LLM (Large Language Model), known as LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications). Like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, the model behind ChatGPT, the engineers at Google have trained LaMDA on hundreds of billions of parameters, letting the AI “learn” natural language on its own. The result is a chatbot that can answer any question in surprisingly natural and conversational language.

Is Google Bard available?

After being announced, Google Bard remained open to a limited amount of users, based on a queue in a waitlist. But at Google I/O 2023, the company announced that Bard was now open to everyone, which includes 180 countries and territories around the world.

Bard is also now available in Japanese and Korean, with up to 40 languages to be supported soon, according to Google.

Bard is still labeled as an “experiment,” but it’s now widely available for anyone to start using.

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How to use Google Bard

Google Bard responses on a screen.

To access Google Bard, go to bard.google.com. Like all Google products, it requires you to sign in with your Google account. You also have to agree to the terms of use, but once you click on them, you can start using Google Bard pretty quickly. Like ChatGPT, Bard is mostly just a blank text field that says “Enter a prompt here.” Enter your invitation or question and the Bard will respond.

Google will give you some random ideas to get you started. They are different every time you open Bard. The first example I was given was this: “What can I do for a quick and balanced vegetarian meal? It should be high in protein and fiber.” Bard then listed five different meals, including a block of tofu, lentil soup, and stir-fry. From there, I could take the conversation in any direction, whether it was five more meals or five different recipes. for one meal.

Beyond the basics, Google Bard has some important features that set it apart from other chatbots. First, you’ll see that for each answer Bard gives you two more drafts of the same answer. Click View Other Drafts to see other responses. In this case, one sketch contained a detailed recipe for one particular meal, and the other was a slightly modified version of the first sketch. You can even click Recreate Drafts to have Bard try a new answer. However, I’ve found that restoring drafts often produces very similar results. It is better to edit the prompt by clicking the pencil icon or using a new prompt to get a better response from Bard.

All of your conversations with Bard are in a single scrolling window that is removed when you close the window. You can view (and delete) all prompts in the sidebar under “Bard Activity”, but the actual Bard responses are not available. Fortunately, Google allows you to export replies directly to Gmail or Google Docs. If you use Bard to code, you can export to Replit instead. Click the share icon below Bard’s answer and click where you want to take it.

Finally, there is a dark mode that you can access by clicking the switch in the bottle on the left sidebar.

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What is Google Bard used for?

Google Bard has all kinds of different use cases. The sky’s the limit with AI chatbots, especially more powerful ones like Bard. It’s a great brainstorming tool, outliner, and collaborator. People have undoubtedly used it to write essays, articles, and emails, as well as for creative tasks like writing stories and poems.

As Google warns, though, it’s not recommended to use Bard’s text output as a final product. It’d be wise to only use Bard’s text generation as a starting place.

Google Bard limitations and controversies

Unlike ChatGPT, Google Bard has access to the entire Internet. That is, it can relate to current events and contemporary context. However, this does not mean that all its information is 100% correct. As Google admits, Bard is prone to hallucinations.

For example, I asked Bard who the editors of Digital Trends are, but it wasn’t true, even though all the information appears directly on our About page.
When Google Bard was first introduced on February 6, 2023, it made a mistake when answering a question about recent discoveries by the James Webb Space Telescope. It was said to be the first to photograph an exoplanet outside our solar system, but it was actually many years earlier.

The fact that Google Bard displayed this erroneous information so confidently drew strong criticism of the tool, comparing some of ChatGPT’s weaknesses. Google’s stock price fell several points in response.

However, Bard’s biggest limitation is its inability to record conversations. You can export them, but when you close the window, they’re gone.

Is Google Bard better than ChatGPT?

Both Google Bard and ChatGPT use natural language models and machine learning to create chatbots, but each has different features. At the time of writing, ChatGPT is based entirely on data collected mainly up to 2021, while Google Bard has the ability to use updated information in its responses and can search the Internet if desired. Since it is directly connected to the Internet, you can also click the “Google it” button for related searches. This is one big advantage Bard has over ChatGPT.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, focuses primarily on chat questions and answers. It is also particularly good for creative tasks. By Google’s own admission, ChatGPT currently has a greater ability to answer more questions in natural language.

A recent report even revealed that Bard was trained to access ChatGPT data without permission. Google denied this claim, although CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Bardi will soon be updated to be more competitive with ChatGPT, calling it “a proper Civic compared to ChatGPT.” This was before the Google I/O announcements, so we’ll have to see how the updates compare in real-world use.

Most importantly, ChatGPT has the ability to record all your conversations, neatly organized as “Chats” in the sidebar. Currently, Bard can export your conversations, but not save them. I like Bard’s outline, but for long-term usability, ChatGPT is still a better choice.

Google Bard text-to-image creation

Images appearing in results in Google Bard.

Google has announced that it will soon bring text-to-image creation directly to Bard, unlike Bing Chat. Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator is powered by Dall-E, while Bard’s text-to-image generation comes from a collaboration with Adobe.

Firefly, as it is called, is Adobe’s text-to-image tool, implemented in several Adobe creative applications, starting with Adobe Express. Firefly is trained on the company’s own image library to avoid the ethical and legal issue of image credit.

Text-to-image creation was announced at Google I/O 2023 and is said to be coming in the coming weeks. At the time of writing, text-to-image does not appear to be available yet. When Bard is asked to “create a picture of a bird in the forest,” the chatterbox replies, “I can’t do that yet.”

In addition to creating new images, Bard currently supports images in answers, including images from Google Search and the Knowledge Graph.


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