Google's Bard AI chatbot is now open to users in the US and UK. Here's how it works
Google is making its AI chatbot, Bard, available to the public.
The company is rolling out Bard across in the US and UK starting Tuesday.
Bard works much like OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT, although there are some differences.
Google's answer to ChatGPT is finally being released to the public.
The company said that it will grant access to its artificial intelligence chatbot, known as Bard, in the US and UK starting Tuesday.
Google says that you can use Bard to "boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas and fuel your curiosity." It functions similarly to OpenAI's ChatGPT: you prompt it with a question or a task – say, create a recipe or plan a road trip – and it will produce a response.
Unlike ChatGPT, however, Bard will give several versions — or "drafts" — of its answer for you to choose from. You'll then be able to ask follow-up questions or ask the same question again if you don't like any of the responses offered.
There's also a "Google it" button that will turn your prompt into a more search-engine-friendly query and direct it to Google Search.
A spokesperson said that the company doesn't intend to signpost Bard on the Google search page itself; users will only be able to access it by going to bard.google.com and signing up on the waitlist.
Google will roll out access in phases, so not everyone will get to use Bard right away. The spokesperson said that the company plans to roll out Bard to other territories and languages too.
Google is emphasizing that this is an early experiment and says that Bard will run on an "efficient and optimized" version of LaMDA, the large language model that underpins the tool. Users will be met with a warning that "Bard will not always get it right" when they open it.
The initial version will be limited to text – it won't yet respond to images or audio – and you won't be able to use it for coding, but Google says that these features will arrive in due course.
Google employees have been internally training Bard for several weeks, with CEO Sundar Pichai asking staffers to commit 2 to 4 hours of their time to help get it out the door.
Pichai said that the public version of Bard would run on a "lightweight model," but some employees have been playing with a superior internal version called "Big Bard," Insider previously reported.
Google will improve Bard over time, and users will be able to submit written feedback about their experiences.
Google's management has been moving fast to get Bard out the door after the company was caught off guard by the arrival of OpenAI's ChatGPT late last year. Google enacted a "code red" – an internal signal to get all hands on deck – and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have even weighed in on decisions around Bard and other AI products Google has planned, according to people familiar with the matter.
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