These days, Google is all-in on AI, and Google Bard is its flagship product. It’s an AI chatbot, and it’s very much meant to be a rival to the ever-popular ChatGPT.
And while it does replicate a lot of what ChatGPT does, Google has become highly invested in this space and has already made some significant updates to the tool that take it beyond what ChatGPT can do.
What is Google Bard?
Like ChatGPT, Google Bard is a conversational AI chatbot that can generate text of all kinds. You can ask it any question, as long as it doesn’t violate its content policies, Bard will provide an answer. Although Bard hasn’t officially replaced
That’s because it’s based on Google’s own LLM (Large Language Model), known as LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications). Like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, the model behind ChatGPT, the engineers at Google have trained LaMDA on hundreds of billions of parameters, letting the AI “learn” natural language on its own. The result is a chatbot that can answer any question in surprisingly natural and conversational language.
LaMDA was originally announced at Google I/O in 2021, but it remained a prototype and was never released to the public. Once ChatGPT was launched in late 2022, however, Google moved quickly to release a chatbot powered by LaMDA that could compete.
Is Google Bard available?
After being announced,
Bard is also now available in Japanese and Korean, with up to 40 languages to be supported soon, according to Google.
Bard is still labeled as an “experiment,” but it’s now widely available for anyone to start using.
How to use Google Bard
Helpfully, Google gives a few random ideas to get you started with, which are different each time you open up Bard. The first example I was given was the following: “What’s a fast, balanced, vegetarian meal for me to make? It should be high in protein and fiber.” Bard then provided a bullet list of five different meals, including a tofu scramble, lentil soup, and vegetarian stir-fry. From there, I can take the conversation in any direction I want, whether that’s to ask for five more meals, or for five different recipes for one of the meals.
Beyond the basics,
All of your chats with Bard are in a single scroll window, which is deleted if you close the window. You can see (and delete) all the prompts in “Bard activity” in the sidebar, but the actual answers from Bard aren’t accessible. Fortunately, Google allows you to export responses directly to Gmail or Google Docs. If you’re using Bard to code, you can export to Replit instead. Just click the share icon under an answer from Bard, and click where you want it export to.
Lastly, there’s a Dark Mode you can use by clicking on the toggle in the bottle left of the sidebar.
What is Google Bard used for?
And as of fairly recently, you can use Bard to write and debug code.
As Google warns, though, it’s not recommended to use Bard’s text output as a final product. It’d be wise to only use Bard’s text generation as a starting place.
Google Bard limitations
For example, I asked Bard who the editors of Digital Trends were, which it did not have correct, despite all that information being displayed directly on our About page.
When it was shown off for the first time on February 6, 2023,
The biggest limitation of Bard, though, is it inability to save chats. You can export them, but once you close the window, they’re gone.
Is Google Bard better than ChatGPT?
Both Google Bard and ChatGPT use natural language models and machine learning to create their chatbots, but each has a different set of features. At the time of writing, ChatGPT is entirely based on data that was mostly collected up until 2021, whereas
ChatGPT, on the other hand, has a major focus on conversational questions and answers. It’s especially good at creative tasks too. By Google’s own admission, ChatGPT has greater potential to answer more questions in natural language at the moment.
A recent report even indicated that Bard was trained using ChatGPT data without permission. Google has denied this accusation, though CEO Sundar Pichai has stated that Bard will soon get updated to be more competitive with ChatGPT, calling it a “souped-up Civic compared to ChatGPT.” This was before the announcements from Google I/O, so we’ll have to see how the updates compare in actual use.
Most importantly, ChatGPT has the ability to save all your chats, neatly organized into “conversations” in the sidebar. As of now, Bard can export your chats, but not save them. I like the drafts function of Bard, but in terms of long-term usability, ChatGPT remains the better option.
Google Bard text-to-image creation
Google has announced that it will soon have text-to-image creation built right into Bard, not unlike Bing Chat. Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator is powered by Dall-E, while Bard’s text-to-image generation will come from partnership with Adobe.
Firefly, as it’s called, is Adobe’s text-to-image generative tool that’s being introduced in a variety of Adobe’s creative applications, starting with Adobe Express. Firefly is trained on the company’s own stock image library to get around the ethical and legal problem of image accreditation.
Text-to-image generation doesn’t appear to be available in Bard yet, but was announced at Google I/O 2023 to be coming in the following weeks.
Beyond generating images, Bard will also begin bringing in images from Google Search and the Knowledge Graph.
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