In-house testing of Google’s AI chatbot for search, Bard, started this week across the entire company.
The email, which Insider examined, shows how eager Google is to compete in the coming era of AI-based search. The business is now in a difficult position as Microsoft gained attention for its investment in OpenAI. OpenAI made the well-known ChatGPT chatbot, which came out in late 2022. It can answer broad, open-ended questions with answers that sound like those of a human. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella referred to last week’s launch of ChatGPT, a revamped version of its Bing search engine, as a “new day” for search.
In his memo to Google employees, Pichai said, “I know this moment is uncomfortable exciting, and that’s to be expected: the underlying technology is evolving rapidly with so much potential. The most crucial action we can take at this time is to concentrate on creating a fantastic product and responsibly developing it.
On Tuesday, Google started “dogfooding” Bard, and thousands of internal and external testers have already used it and provided feedback on the reliability, security, and “groundedness” of Bard’s responses.
After a demo of Bard revealed it answering a question about the James Webb Space Telescope incorrectly, the company last week suffered some reputational damage. After the error gained attention, the stock fell more than 9% in one day. According to CNBC, Alphabet’s chairman John Hennessy claimed that Google was hesitant to use Bard in a product because it was not “really ready.”
In the past, Google’s AI initiatives have caused internal strife because some employees were concerned that the technology was not yet ready and might cause harm, such as the spread of bias or false information. Data and user feedback are also advantageous to Google because they help the company’s AI systems respond more accurately.
Pichai said, “AI has experienced many winters and springs. “It is now in bloom once more. We’ve been preparing for this for years as an AI-first business, and we’re ready now.”