Microsoft has been rapidly developing its Bing Chat AI chatbot over the past few months, while Google has prepared a competing service. Google’s take on chatbots, Bard, now has an open waitlist.
You can now join the waitlist for access to Google Bard at bard.google.com, and a new FAQ page and blog post explains how the tool works. Like Bing Chat and ChatGPT, it’s powered by a large language model (LLM), but unlike those two existing services, it’s based on “a lightweight and optimized version” of Google’s own LaMDA model. Google describes Bard as “a complementary experience to Google Search.”
You’ll be able to ask Bard questions, though it’s not clear if Bard can search live web pages like Bing Chat. The screenshots Google provided don’t show citations, and there’s a search button after every response to try the prompt again in a regular Google Search. Google told The Verge that Bard only provides sources when it directly quotes a news article or other similar page.
The news comes as Microsoft is rapidly updating Bing Chat and integrating it across as many applications and services as possible, including Microsoft Edge, Skype, and others. Just this week, Bing Chat rolled out performance improvements and a share option, as well as integrated AI image generation powered by DALL-E. The race is on for chatbots that can convincingly lie to you explain topics and write drafts.
Google said in a blog post, “We’ll continue to improve Bard and add capabilities, including coding, more languages and multimodal experiences. And one thing is certain: We’ll learn alongside you as we go. With your feedback, Bard will keep getting better and better.”