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Google’s Answer To OpenAI’s ChatGPT?

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Google Chat Bot Ai

CNBC reported the other day that Google is working on its own AI chatbot named Apprentice Bard. Apprentice Bard is reportedly built on Google’s AI LaMDA language model stack and while Google is being more cautious with this rollout, Google is working on testing an AI bot in search.

CNBC wrote, “As a result of ChatGPT, the LaMDA team has been asked to prioritize working on a response to ChatGPT,” read one internal memo viewed by CNBC. “In the short term, it takes precedence over other projects,” the email continued, warning that some employees stop attending certain unrelated meetings.

“Apprentice Bard looks similar to ChatGPT: Employees can enter a question in a dialog box and get a text answer, then give feedback on the response. Based on several responses viewed by CNBC, Apprentice Bard’s answers can include recent events, a feature ChatGPT doesn’t have yet,” CNBC said. This makes sense, as Google can crawl the web in almost real-time and process that information faster than any other company.

The examples given by CNBC show that Google even picked up on the Google layoff news and was able to respond to questions about this. Whereas ChatGPT only has content from 2021 or earlier.

Also, CNBC said Google is working on designing an alternative search interface to support this chat feature. CNBC said, “One view showed the home search page offering five different prompts for potential questions placed directly under the main search bar, replacing the current “I’m feeling lucky” bar. It also showed a small chat logo inside the far right end of the search bar.” “When a question is entered, the search results show a grey bubble directly under the search bar, offering more human-like responses than typical search results. Directly beneath that, the page suggests several follow-up questions related to the first one. Under that, it shows typical search results, including links and headlines.”

Super interesting stuff and I suspect that if Google does release something, it will be a lot better than what we’ve been seeing so far, if that is even imaginable…

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Status Dashboard Adds Google Ranking Updates

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Google Health Monitor Status Search

Google has added a new section to the Google Search Status Dashboard – Ranking. The Ranking section will show the confirmed Google ranking updates that Google already posts on its Google updates page.

So now we have crawling, indexing, serving and ranking – ranking being the new one – on this Google Search Status Dashboard. You can access the status dashboard over here.

New dashboard:

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Here is what it looks like with data:

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And you click on the i and it shows this:

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Old dashboard:

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Google should be listing in the ranking section the names of the confirmed Google updates, such as the March 2023 core update and other Google algorithm updates.

Here is Google’s announcement on this:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing Chat With Bing Image Creator

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Bing Robot Creating Art 640

Microsoft has announced that Bing Chat in “creative” mode can now create images based on you inputting a description of what you want it to create or referencing another image. Jordi Ribas from Microsoft said on Twitter, “now you can create an image by simply using your own words to describe the picture you want to see.”

It basically just brings in the Bing Image Creator tool that we saw Microsoft integrate within Bing Search recently.

Here is how it looks, although, at the time I am writing this, it does not seem to want to make images for me…

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Here is Jodi showing it off on Twitter:

This is powered by OpenAI’s DALL∙E model, which Microsoft says they are using a more “advanced version” of that model.

Personally, I have been having a ton of fun using MidJourney – you may have noticed some of the header images on this site look a bit different.

Forum discussion at Twitter and WebmasterWorld.



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Google Begins Slow Rollout Of Google Bard

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Google Bard 640

Yesterday, Google began to slowly roll out Google Bard to some initial reporters and also Google opened up a waitlist to users in the US and UK. I personally gained access to Bard after writing most of this article but I did gain access to Bard yesterday at 1pm ET. But you can sign up for the waitlist at bard.google.com (it does not yet work with Google WorkSpace accounts).

Below you will find out more information on how Bard looks, how it works, how the citations/sources work, limitations, early impressions and more. There is a lot here – and it is super early.

My early impressions is that Google is clearly positioning Bard to be very different from Google Search. In addition, Google is also making sure Bard feels and works differently than Bing Chat. Bing Chat, to me, feels way more thought out in terms of the user experience and all the tiny details in how it works with Bing Search. Google is making it super clear right now that Bard is not Search and only putting a “Google It” button in the Bard results so that you are taken out of Bard and into Search.

Bard does not do a lot of what Bing Chat and ChatGPT does but Bard is way faster. Bard has no ads, Bing Chat does have ads. Bard rarely show citations/links, Bing Chat shows citations and links in a much more prominent way. Bard and Bing Chat are just very different, while being similar in purpose.

Bard is Google’s experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, where Google can answer questions that might not have one right answer. Google said, “Bard is powered by a research large language model (LLM), specifically a lightweight and optimized version of LaMDA, and will be updated with newer, more capable models over time. It’s grounded in Google’s understanding of quality information. You can think of an LLM as a prediction engine. When given a prompt, it generates a response by selecting, one word at a time, from words that are likely to come next. Picking the most probable choice every time wouldn’t lead to very creative responses, so there’s some flexibility factored in. We continue to see that the more people use them, the better LLMs get at predicting what responses might be helpful.” In short, it will get better over time, so don’t be too harsh on Google…

As a reminder, Google said Bard is not Search we have quotes from Google’s Bard lead who said, “It’s an experiment that’s a collaborative AI service that we talked about,” Krawczyk said. “The magic that we’re finding in using the product is really around being this creative companion to helping you be the sparkplug for imagination, explore your curiosity, etc.” But he added, “we can’t stop users from trying to use it like search.”

What Bard Looks Like

Here are some screenshots and videos of Bard from Google:

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Google Bard2

Google Bard3

Citations/Links to Publishers Are Hard To Come By

It is hard to find sources, citations and links in Google Bard but they do come up if you try hard enough. Gary Illyes from Google did say publishers will get traffic from Bard, maybe that is what he meant when we see the “Google it” button in Bard?

I asked Areej Abuali and Billie Geena – who has access already, and she was unable to find Bard giving any links to any source. But some, including in my tests, were able to see some sources and links. Google Bard also has a “Google it” button…

If you really work hard to get a citation, you kind of do but not link:

And sometimes not:

When I gained access, I asked Bard why exactly it refused to give sources and citations, it said:

I cannot show you the URL of where I came up with this answer because I did not come up with this answer from a specific URL. I am trained on a massive dataset of text and code, including the Google Search index. This allows me to access and process information from the real world through Google Search and keep my response consistent with search results.

Oh wait, maybe you can force a link if you try hard enough and specific enough but this is not good enough:

Just not the best experience:

Here is why Google Bard is less likely to provide citations, “Bard is trained on a massive dataset of text and code, and it can be difficult to determine which sources were used to generate a particular answer.”

Early Impressions

The folks at The Verge played with Bard in a limited way and they said:

In a demo for The Verge, Bard was able to quickly and fluidly answer a number of general queries, offering anodyne advice on how to encourage a child to take up bowling (“take them to a bowling alley”) and recommending a list of popular heist movies (including The Italian Job, The Score, and Heist). Bard generates three responses to each user query, though the variation in their content is minimal, and underneath each reply is a prominent “Google It” button that redirects users to a related Google search.

Bard’s interface is festooned with disclaimers to treat its replies with caution

As with ChatGPT and Bing, there’s also a prominent disclaimer underneath the main text box warning users that “Bard may display inaccurate or offensive information that doesn’t represent Google’s views” — the AI equivalent of “abandon trust, all ye who type here.”

As expected, then, trying to extract factual information from Bard is hit-and-miss. Although the chatbot is connected to Google’s search results, it couldn’t fully answer a query on who gave the day’s White House press briefing (it correctly identified the press secretary as Karine Jean-Pierre but didn’t note that the cast of Ted Lasso was also present). It was also unable to correctly answer a tricky question about the maximum load capacity of a specific washing machine, instead inventing three different but incorrect answers. Repeating the query did retrieve the correct information, but users would be unable to know which was which without checking an authoritative source like the machine’s manual.

Billie Geena gained access to Bard right away, here are some of her tweets:

Areej Abuali said OpenAI’s ChatGPT beats Google Bard in her early tests:

Some more tweets in the wild:

I guess Google is okay with buying links now? 🙂

Local:

But Bard does not always get it right, like Google said:

Can Bard tell you if your content meets EEAT?

Here is a good comparison tweet:

And yes, Bard is a kiss up:

The most important feature:

I am looking forward to testing out Bard and letting you know what I find, until then, we wait. You can read the other coverage on this announcement on Techmeme.

Forum discussion at Twitter and WebmasterWorld.



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