Google opened its ChatGPT competitor Bard to the public in the United States and the United Kingdom on Tuesday, although entry will require a waiting list.

“Today we’re starting to open up access to Bard, an early experiment that lets you collaborate with generative AI,” Ellie Collins, Google vice president of product and research, Sissy Hsiao, wrote in a company blog.

He explained that Bard can be used to boost productivity, accelerate the generation of ideas, and increase curiosity.

“We’ve learned a lot testing Bard so far,” he said, “and the next important step in improving it is getting feedback from more people.”

While large language models are an exciting technology, they are not without their faults, Google executives acknowledged. Because they learn from a wide range of information that reflects real-world biases and stereotypes, they sometimes show up in their output, he continued. And they may provide false, misleading or inaccurate information while presenting it in confidence.

“Our work at Bard is guided by our AI principles, and we continue to focus on quality and safety,” the pair said. “We’re using human feedback and ratings to improve our systems, and we’ve also put in guardrails, like capping the number of exchanges in dialogue, to try to keep conversations useful and on-topic Could.”

chasing redmond

Since Google unveiled Bard to the world in February, the company has been trying to catch up with Microsoft, which is introducing AI features into its products at a rapid pace.

“Google is in a panic now that Microsoft has them beat to market, and they’re hemorrhaging users, which puts them in a ‘ready or it doesn’t get here’ mindset,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group. declared. An advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“A short while ago, they were convinced that it was nowhere close to being ready and seem to have reduced resources, so it is unlikely that it is actually ready, but they now need a response and clearly We are taking a huge risk to prevent this from happening. Microsoft stops its search engine from bleeding out,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Undoubtedly, Google is in catch-up mode, maintained Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif.

He told TechNewsworld, “I think Google is under enormous market pressure to bring Bard to the mainstream market as quickly as possible because there is a perception in part that they were taken aback by the market reception of ChatGPT.”

Google has been talking about its AI and machine-learning work for several years, but, so far, it has reached the consumer in very limited ways, observed Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer research firm. Technology consulting firm. New York City.

“ChatGPT really struck a nerve inside Google. This is a potential threat to Google Search,” he told TechNewsWorld.

cautious pace

Bard’s rate of development remains reserved, despite pressure to bridge the gap with Microsoft.

“Google’s pace is somewhat more cautious than Microsoft’s,” said Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, comment and analysis website.

“They feel they have more to lose as a brand if Bard becomes widely available and gets derailed,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Rubin explained that Bard is being rolled out slowly because Google has a dominant position in the market and wants to position the chatbot as a continuation of its existing search product.

“Microsoft has a similar rollout with the use of AI in Office,” he said.

At this point, Vena said, the perception that Google is outpacing Microsoft has hurt, so Google will use its resources to make Bard the best tool on the market and stop worrying about being the first.

ChatGPT vs LaMDA

Vena said the product could benefit from creating a waiting list while slowing the full rollout of Bard.

“It reinforces a notion that the Bard is not ready for prime time,” he said. “But putting that notion aside, this is probably a wise move on Google’s part, as a staggered release allows them to work out bugs in a measured and deliberate manner, which is a good thing.”

Sterling stressed that waiting lists serve another purpose as well. “They’re trying to control who has access and how the conversation happens around Bard,” he said. “But in fairness, this is often the way tech products are rolled out.”

Hsiao and Collins note that currently, Bard is powered by a lightweight and optimized version of Google’s research large language model LaMDA, but over time the offering will be updated with newer, more capable models.

“BARD doesn’t seem as powerful as GPT-4, which OpenAI recently released, but because it’s connected to the internet, who it can trust to answer questions makes a difference, said Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

“Bard functions better as a personal assistant, but doesn’t perform as well on deeper analytical tasks, such as giving it a set of patch notes from a video game and asking how they would change the game’s state or analysis.” Supreme Court transcript,” he told TechNewsWorld.

multiple answer questions

Vena explained that LaMDA is specifically designed for natural language conversations and aims to be more context-aware than previous language models. It was trained on a wide variety of topics and could potentially be used in a variety of conversational applications, such as chatbots, voice assistants, and customer service tools.

Microsoft’s larger language model, on the other hand, he continued, was designed not specifically for dialog applications but for more general language understanding. Microsoft is working on a number of language models that attempt to improve natural language processing and generation in a variety of applications, including translation, sentiment analysis and question-answering.

Bard also departs from ChatGPT by drafting several of his responses to a question. “This gives users more flexibility to examine multiple query results, and that’s a good thing,” Vena said.

While offering multiple drafts gives consumers more choice and information, Sterling said, it also appears to be a defense against user criticism.

Overall, he said, Google is more cautious about its messaging and presentation about Bard than Microsoft is about Bing.

“Bing is courageous,” he said. “Microsoft has less to lose and is eager to embrace AI chat as an evolution of Bing.”

“For Google,” he continued, “it seems like it’s a new add-on that will get better over time. They’re undermining it as a search replacement. It partially meets user expectations.” and shaping broader market sentiments.

Microsoft announced last week that it was moving ChatGPT to its Bing search engine and that it would only work through its new Edge browser.

AI in general, and generative AI in particular, are game changers because they are not only able to do more for you, but they can be made to interact with you as if it were a person. That’s a huge advantage, and Google clearly got caught napping. Ironically, this was usually Microsoft’s problem.

The graphical user interface (GUI) came from Apple, and Microsoft caught up. Server Unix came from (mostly Sun Microsystems), and Microsoft caught up. The browser came from Netscape, and Microsoft caught up. Microsoft’s history is intertwined with coming from behind and taking the first to market by out-executing. This time, Microsoft is the first to scale up generative AI, and its aggressive move has scared the crap out of Alphabet (Google), which appears to be in a panic.

With this one move, Microsoft has the potential to drive search traffic away from Google and repeat past successes against Apple, Sun Microsystems and Netscape. It feels like the more successful efforts of a pre-Steve Ballmer Microsoft, which seemed more willing to do what was needed to win.

This week, let’s find out what AI-powered Bing and Edge mean for search — and how Microsoft is taking on Google. Then we’ll end with my product of the week: Lenovo’s 30th anniversary ThinkPad.

Generative AI Advantage

In search mode, this means you can fully describe what you want, rather than trying to pretend you know boolean logic.

For example, I asked the new Bing, “Which James Bond movie has the most gadgets and is the most fun to watch?” And the service recommended “Thunderball”, which has the top-ranked Bond gadget and ranked sixth in popularity.

If you put that same query into Google, you’ll only get articles ranking Bond movies. In Google, you have to spend time asking additional questions to arrive at the same answer. Perhaps.

With chat activated (currently, chat is by invitation only as we try to make the chat application say things that embarrass Microsoft and then report what we’ve done on social media), you can refine You can interact with the tool to view your results and help you write them if you want to go further.

Judging by the quality of the answer Bing gave me, it was better than what I would have answered if I had been asked the same question – and it’s only getting better with time. I’d pick “Goldfinger”, forgetting that even though “Goldfinger” is ranked #1, “Thunderball” has most of the gadgets of “Goldfinger” and a ton more besides.

Along with the jet pack, “Thunderball” should rank near the top in both quality (the jet pack) and quantity (due to all the unique underwater and tracking gear). So, I can see that “Thunderball” was a better choice I would have made myself.

I mentioned that chat gets better with Bing turned on; Instead of doing additional searches, you can interact with the search tool to refine your request. This will allow you to refine your search by adding additional arguments even after the chat is closed; It doesn’t help you underestimate the initial usefulness of the tool.

It is my firm belief that, once you get comfortable talking with a computer, as we have abandoned “command line” interfaces for GUIs, we can move away from Boolean logic questions in favor of plain language interfaces. Will give up and eventually either combine or replace the GUI. speech interface.

why google is bad

The problem for Google is twofold.

First of all, it looks like Microsoft made the same mistake with search by treating its IE browser like a cash cow that requires no investment. Google’s other big problem is that the switching cost between Google and Bing is almost non-existent. If enough people move from Google to Bing, Google is screwed because there’s no solid mechanism to bring users back until it can match Microsoft before habits are formed.

This means that Google should have a comparable solution on the market that is fast enough to prevent migration to the more advanced Microsoft platform. While Google is clearly in a panic, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. Unlike Microsoft, which makes most of its money from selling or renting things rather than from advertising revenue, Google’s revenue is tightly tied to search. If it loses its near-monopoly, it will be painful. Will be very sad.

Google is the established vendor, which means it has home court advantage in this fight, but with low switching costs and even a few weeks of usage, it could lose its installed base. Given how easy it is to try Bing, the ability (not just the announcement) to prevent users from making the switch before the same capability is provided is too weak.

Google can do what Steve Jobs and Apple do in their sleep and dislike generative AI and ChatGPT until it catches up. But Google is not a marketing-focused company. Considering how much of its revenue comes from advertising, I think it’s ironic because it should be really good at paying the bills. Sadly, Google is not. Even if it were, its history of selling user information means that Microsoft’s effort to tank FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), its biggest lever, would backfire badly.

So, it appears that Google is triple-screwed. It has no counter-offer in the market, it doesn’t have the marketing potential for the FUD Microsoft offering, and it’s already considered less secure than Microsoft’s, which means it’s going to deter people from trying. Can’t use any security logic effectively. product.

Conclusion: The Surprising Return of Microsoft

When I started covering Microsoft in the early ’90s, it seemed like it could do nothing wrong. It rolled over Apple, flattened Sun Microsystems, kicked IBM’s butt, and helped put Netscape out of business. With the launch of Windows 95, it did the impossible by getting people so excited about an operating system that they were ready to buy it. An Operating System!

But then that century was over. Over the next ten years, Microsoft stalled with the Xbox, failed with the Zune, lost dominance with its IE browser, lost its phone business, and successively lost two CEOs. In the last decade, its reconstruction began. Azure was a huge success, Windows was vastly improved, and it fixed its tarnished reputation — and got out of some conflicting problems.

In this decade, the company has started looking like old Microsoft by competing with Google. Now it looks like Google is on the ropes, and Microsoft has the edge (pun intended). Execution will be key, but Microsoft has been executing very well of late. Suddenly, Generative AI and ChatGPT are trending positively, and Google is scared. This is going to be a very interesting decade. Nicely done!

tech product of the week

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad Anniversary Edition represents the ThinkPad brand.

While Microsoft Surface products are closest to the Apple products in the market as a family, ThinkPad has a brand that is second only to Apple in terms of recognition and reliability. In a way, if you think of Apple as representing design-over-function, the ThinkPad is function-over-design. Put another way, the Apple is the sports car you drive for fun, but the ThinkPad is the pickup you drive for work.

Both brands have power and recognition (you can identify both product lines from a distance) but very different focuses and user experiences. Lenovo generally operates on lower margins than Apple, which means you usually get more for your money from Lenovo products. Until Lenovo recently went out of stock, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition was a steal at $1,891.45 if you wanted the most secure, reliable, work-focused laptop.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition (Image credit: Lenovo)

Thinkpads convey a professional vibe which means they arguably enhance your work related presence and potentially enhance your work related status just by being seen with one. Other brands, especially those that are more consumer-oriented, convey a less professional image that can detract from your subjective assessment and your business success.

In short, when you come out with a ThinkPad, people generally know you mean business. This is useful when trying to convey a professional image in anything other than animation or graphics, where Apple still has a strong brand.

Sometimes, you just want people to take you seriously when you have a laptop you can depend on. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is just that, so it’s my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.