Tech Drivers
Tech Drivers

Google shows off more of what its ChatGPT competitor Bard can do

Key Points
  • Google’s Search boss Prabhakar Raghavan shared some new examples of its new conversational technology Bard in a live-streamed presentation from Paris Wednesday.
  • Raghavan said people could use Bard to make decisions around planning a road trip and deciding what car to buy.
  • It comes a day after Microsoft held an event announcing new chatbot features based on OpenAI's GPT in Bing search.

In this article

Prabhakar Raghavan, of Google Inc., speaks during the company's Cloud Next '18 event in San Francisco, California, July 24, 2018.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google’s Search boss, Prabhakar Raghavan, shared some fresh examples of its new conversational technology Bard in a livestreamed event in Paris on Wednesday. Bard is Google's competitor to OpenAI's ChatGPT AI.

The presentation followed an event Tuesday where Microsoft announced OpenAI's GPT technology would be integrated into the homepage of its search product Bing.

Raghavan showed slides with new examples of Bard’s capabilities during a brief presentation. One slide showed how Bard can be used to display the pros and cons of buying an electric car, for example, and to plan a trip in Northern California.

“Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car, one that’s a good fit for your family," Raghavan said. "Bard can help you think through different angles to consider from budget to safety and more, and simplify and make sense of them.”

He showed how Bard might offer the pros and cons of electric cars, too.

The first bullet under “pros” said: “Electric cars produce zero emissions when driving, which is better than a gas powered car for the environment. Gas cars produce emissions that contribute to climate change.” “They are generally cheaper to operate," read the second bullet point. "They don’t require oil changes or tune-ups and they have fewer moving parts, so there’s less that can go wrong."

The first bullet under "cons" stated: "Electric cars have more limited driving range, depending on the size of battery.” The second bullet states “Charging an electric car can take a while, especially if you use a public charging station.”

He showed another slide suggesting how Bard might plan a road trip. “I think our first longer drive will be from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, can you suggest a few stops along the way?”

Bard provided a list of four stops between the two locations, including Half Moon Bay, Pescadero and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, with a sentence describing each. “Stop by Pigeon Point Lighthouse to catch a great view,” one description says. 

The latest examples come after Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday publicly announced Google’s new conversation technology Bard that's powered by its artificial intelligence and would be integrated into search, which confirmed CNBC's original reporting. The company is opening Bard to select testers in the coming weeks before launching widely.

But, reports have also pointed out that Bard, like other AI tools, can be inaccurate. A recent advertisement for Google's service showed Bard offering the incorrect description of the telescope used to take the first pictures of a planet outside our solar system, for example.

"This highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we're kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program," a Google spokesperson said of the ad. "We'll combine external feedback with our own internal testing to make sure Bard's responses meet a high bar for quality, safety and groundedness in real-world information."

Pichai told employees the company will require all workers to test Bard in a hackathon-like style as it faces pressure from investors and employees to compete with ChatGPT, the chatbot from Microsoft-backed OpenAI that took the public by storm when it launched late last year.