Bard: Google ChatGPT Rival Expands to Europe and Brazil

news 13-Jul-2023 Business

Bard: Google's ChatGPT Rival Expands to Europe and Brazil

Alphabet, Google's parent company, is launching its artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, in Europe and Brazil. This marks the largest expansion of the product since its introduction in the US and the UK in March, intensifying the competition with Microsoft's ChatGPT. Both ChatGPT and Bard are examples of generative AI that can provide human-like responses to questions.

The launch of Bard in the European Union was delayed due to privacy concerns raised by the main data regulator in the bloc. The Irish Data Protection Commission stated that Google had not provided enough information about how its generative AI tool ensures the privacy of Europeans, casting doubt on its EU launch. However, Alphabet has since met with regulators to address concerns related to transparency, choice, and control. The company also clarified that users have the option to opt out of data collection.

Amar Subramanya, Engineering Vice President of Bard, stated in a briefing with journalists that Bard is an experiment and emphasized the company's commitment to being both bold and responsible. However, he did not comment on any plans to develop a Bard app.

Additionally, Google has introduced new features for Bard, which are applicable worldwide. These include the ability for the chatbot to speak its answers aloud and respond to prompts that incorporate images. Bard now supports collaboration in over 40 languages, allowing users to approach their ideas from different perspectives. Users can also customize the tone and style of Bard's responses and utilize features such as pinning or renaming conversations, exporting code to various platforms, and incorporating images in prompts.

The capabilities of generative AI have attracted significant attention. However, there has been increased scrutiny, with some calling for a pause in their development. The potential impact of AI is a subject of debate, with varying opinions on whether it could lead to the downfall of humanity or help solve global issues like climate change.

In recent months, several companies have invested billions to capitalize on generative AI's potential in advertising and cloud revenue. Even start-ups like Mistral AI, which is only a month old, secured £86 million in seed funding to build and train large language models. Elon Musk also announced the establishment of an AI start-up called xAI, featuring a team of engineers who have previously worked at OpenAI and Google. Musk has previously expressed the need for regulation in AI development.

Anthropic, an American AI company, introduced another chatbot called Claude 2, which rivals ChatGPT. Claude 2 is publicly available in the US and the UK and utilizes a safety method referred to as "Constitutional AI." This approach involves a set of principles that guide the chatbot to make judgements regarding the text it produces. However, the novelty appeal of AI chatbots may be diminishing, as recent web user numbers show a decline in monthly traffic to ChatGPT's website and a decrease in unique visitors in June.

Moreover, Google is facing a new class action lawsuit in the US over the alleged misuse of users' personal information to train Bard. The complaint, filed in a San Francisco federal court, argues that Google's unauthorized scraping of data from websites violated users' privacy and property rights. The plaintiffs' attorney emphasized that Google does not own the internet, creative works, expressions of personhood, or any other content shared online.

As Bard expands to new markets, its success will depend on addressing privacy concerns and staying ahead in the competitive landscape of generative AI chatbots.

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