AP

Google’s artificially intelligent ‘Bard’ set for next stage

Mar 22, 2023, 7:26 AM

Google...

FILE - A cursor moves over Google's search engine page on Aug. 28, 2018, in Portland, Ore. The company built on quickly finding answers to people's questions suddenly finds itself grappling for a response to a form of artificial intelligence that long-time rival Microsoft is now deploying to attack its dominant search engine. Microsoft's assault combined with concerns Google's ability to ward it off contributed to a nearly 8% decline in the stock price of Google's corporate parent Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in a selloff that wiped out more than $100 billion in shareholder wealth. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

(AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Google announced Tuesday it’s allowing more people to interact with “ Bard,” the artificially intelligent chatbot the company is building to counter Microsoft’s early lead in a pivotal battleground of technology.

In Bard’s next stage, Google is a new feature called Copilot.

Until now, Bard had only been available to a small group of “trusted testers” hand-picked by Google. The Mountain View, California, company, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., isn’t saying how many people will be given access to Bard in the next step of the technology’s development. Initial applicants will be limited to the U.S. and the U.K. before Google offers Bard in more countries.

Google is treading carefully with the rollout of its AI tools, in part because it has more to lose if the technology spits out inaccurate information or takes its users down dark corridors. That’s because Google’s dominant search engine has become a de facto gateway to the internet for billions of people, raising the risk of a massive backlash that could tarnish its image and undercut its ad-driven business if the technology behaves badly.

Despite the technology’s pitfalls, Bard still offers “incredible benefits” such as “jumpstarting human productivity, creativity and curiosity,” Google said in a blog post that two of its vice presidents — Sissie Hsiao and Eli Collins — wrote with assistance from Bard.

As a precautionary measure, Google is limiting the amount of interaction that can occur between Bard and its users — a tactic Microsoft has imposed with ChatGPT after media coverage detailed instances when the technology likened a New York Times reporter to divorce his wife.

Google also is providing access to Bard through a separate site from its search engine, which serves as the foundation for the digital ads that generate most of its profits. In a tacit acknowledgement that Bard may be prone to straying into manufacturing falsehoods, which are being called “hallucinations” in technology circles, Google is providing a query box connected to its search engine to make it easier for users to check on the accuracy of the information being displayed by the AI.

Bard made an embarrassing blunder shortly after Google unveiled the tool by prominently displaying a wrong answer about a scientific milestone during a presentation that was supposed to show how smart the technology could be. The gaffe contributed to a nearly 8% drop in Alphabet’s stock in a single day, wiping out about $100 billion in shareholder wealth and underscoring how closely investors are watching how Google handles the transition to AI.

 

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

2 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

4 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

5 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

5 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

6 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

7 days ago

Google’s artificially intelligent ‘Bard’ set for next stage