Google has started testing an AI chatbot called Apprentice Bard that’s similar to ChatGPT, an online service that’s more useful than Google Search in many ways, CNBC reported this week.
And we might see it soon. While reporting dismal financial results in the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said Google plans to release its own AI language model tools to the public “in the coming weeks and months.”
ChatGPT uses an artificial intelligence technology called Big Language Model, which was trained on large amounts of data found on the web. This type of model uses an AI mechanism called Transformer that Google developed. ChatGPT’s success in everything from writing software to passing exams to offering King James Bible style advice on removing a sandwich from a VCR put it in the technical spotlight, even though its results may be misleading or incorrect.
Google’s Apprentice Bard tool is similar to ChatGPT, but the company is also testing a question-and-answer format for Google search results, CNBC said. Jeff Dean, head of Google Research, told staff at a 2022 meeting that Google is more conservative with its approach to avoiding the “reputational risk” of AI offering the wrong answers.
Google did not comment on the specifics of the report, but spokeswoman Lily Lin said in a statement, “We have a long history of focusing on developing and using AI to improve people’s lives. … We continue to test our AI technology internally to make sure it is useful and safe, and we look forward to sharing more experiences with the outside soon.
AI technology is already all around us, helping with everything from detecting credit card fraud to translating our speech into text messages. However, ChatGPT technology has raised expectations, so it’s clear that technology will become more important in our lives in one way or another as we rely on digital assistants and online tools.
Google AI subsidiary DeepMind is also involved. Chief Executive Demis Hassabis told Time that his company is considering a private beta test in 2023 of an AI chatbot called Sparrow.
Google detailed Transformers in 2017 and has since become a staple of some of the biggest AI systems. Nvidia’s new H100 processor, the top dog in the world of AI acceleration at least in terms of public speed tests, now includes special circuitry to accelerate processors.
The resulting LLM (Large Language Model) revolution in AI is useful for language-specific systems like ChatGPT, Google’s LaMDA, and the newer PaLM, as well as others from companies like AI21 Labs, Adept AI Labs and Cohere. But LLMs are also used for other tasks, including stacking boxes and processing genetic data to research new drugs. In particular, they are good for generating text, which is why they can be used to answer questions.
Google, which suffered bad publicity following the departure of AI researcher Timnit Gebru in 2020, has an agenda focused on responsible AI and machine learning, or ML, technology. “Developing ML models and products responsibly and ethically is both our primary goal and our promise,” said Marian Croak, vice president of Google Research, in a January post.
Google is keen to tout its deep AI expertise. ChatGPT triggered a “Code Red” emergency within Google, according to the New York Times, and brought Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin back to active work.
Editor’s note: CNET uses an artificial intelligence engine to create personal financial statements, which are edited and verified by our editors. For more information, see this post.
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