Google's chatbot, Bard, is picking up attention after its release. Keep reading to find out what you should know about Bard and the ways it compares to the popular chatbot ChatGPT.
By now, you have likely used or at least heard about the popular AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, but that’s not the only bot entering the chat! Bard, Google’s very own AI-powered chatbot, is beginning to pick up speed. On March 21st, Google opened access to users in select countries (US and UK), asking those interested the technology to join a waitlist. As of May 10th, Bard has dropped the waitlist and is available in 180+ countries, with Canada still TBD in terms of its release date. Although Google has not yet provided a reason why Bard is not available in Canada, there is speculation it’s connected to regulatory concerns surrounding privacy.
Despite Canadians not being able to use the technology yet, it can still be important to find out what Bard does and how marketers around the world have started using this technology to optimize their strategies. Since Canadians do have access to the popular platform ChatGPT, let’s examine what makes Bard different. Below are some details about Bard that you should know and how it compares to the current chatbot giant, ChatGPT.
What is Google’s Chatbot Bard?
According to the Bard webpage, Google describes the chatbot as, “your creative and helpful collaborator, here to supercharge your imagination, boost your productivity, and bring your ideas to life.” Albeit a bit vague, this chatbot follows the typical process; simply put, users input a prompt and the technology outputs a response.
Currently, Bard leans more towards assisting users with searches and creating responses that use a more natural tone. For instance, Google supplies a number of websites when a user searches for a topic on the search engine. However, when a user inputs a topic on Bard, the chatbot provides a more natural set of responses.
In screenshots captured by CNET, it appears that users input a search prompt and Bard creates multiple “drafts” that include varying answers. There are also options to rate the responses and a “Google it” option allowing users to input their prompt on the search engine for further resources.
As the technology rolls out across the globe, we are gaining more insight into its capabilities. Some users have turned to Bard for SEO support, coding, editing documents for tone and grammar, and much more. These key abilities that Bard holds has some noticeable differences compared to ChatGPT, which we will get into below.
The Differences Between Bard and ChatGPT
Based on what we know so far about Bard and ChatGPT, the two have various uses, and it essentially comes down to how they were made. Bard is an AI chatbot that uses PaLM 2 technology, Google’s next generation language model that, according to the search engine, is a “state-of-the-art language model with improved multilingual, reasoning, and coding capabilities.” ChatGPT also uses a large language model but uses generative AI, which allows it to create new content that is very “human-like.”
Another key difference is the data each chatbot is pulling from. ChatGPT uses data from the web up until 2021, meaning the responses that users receive are not updated to the current moment. In contrast, Bard uses up-to-date data that is currently available from the web. This difference can be major for those looking to use the chatbot for the most updated information.
Additionally, Bard can provide image responses to a user’s prompts – something not possible on ChatGPT. However, Bard doesn’t stop there; users can use images as their prompts, as Bard is capable of image searches, which you would find on Google’s search engine. This creates greater opportunities for users to be more specific with their prompts and, in turn, have more specific results.
The Future of Bard
Since Bard has only been recently released to the greater public, it is not clear what its overall impact will be in the chatbot wars. However, thanks to its ability to understand natural language queries, searching has become a lot easier to do without needing to supply specific keywords in order to generate an ideal response. This means that many may begin using Bard in tandem with Google’s search engine to find easy-to-understand answers to everyday search queries instead of using typical search terms.
This idea was alluded to in Google’s announcement released in February outlining Bard’s capabilities. They note that we will soon see “AI-powered features” in Google Search, which will allow users to “quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web.”
It is also a fair to consider the role of Google as the search engine, now that Bard can provide answers and images quickly and in a more conversational tone. Will users turn to Bard first before turning to the search results that list out relevant websites? It’s unclear now, but is a strong possibility, which would cause a major shift in how we search and obtain information.
Microsoft Bing’s Role
Google is not alone in their idea to include an AI-powered chatbot into search capabilities, as Microsoft has launched a “new Bing” and Edge browser that is powered by AI. According to their news release, their new chat feature on the search engine will “deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate content.” Their new chat feature runs on GPT-4, the language model by OpenAI (the creator of ChatGPT), and can be considered a strong competitor to Bard.
An Important Note to Brands
While AI-powered chatbots, like ChatGPT and Bard, can be enticing to use, it is important to remember that they are subject to factual errors, as this type of technology needs to be trained.
It is also important to point out the privacy issues surrounding chatbots. Brands should be aware of the information they are putting into chatbots and avoid adding sensitive information. In this article provided by CNN, the idea that AI technology can learn based off the data being inputted, leads to the concern over privacy. The article includes details about both ChatGPT and Bard’s privacy policies, which are important to consider before using them. However, there are ways the popular chatbots are addressing privacy, as Bard offers the ability for users to manage and delete activity, for example.
Moving forward, Bard and its PaLM 2 language model offers a range of possibilities for brands. With greater search capabilities, and likely even more opportunities with the platform in the not-too-distant future, using AI-powered chatbots can be a great way to supplement your brand’s marketing strategy. Start with a prompt, and see where it leads; at the very least, the results can help direct you to the solutions you’re looking for in a much more efficient way.