Google today began allowing users to sign up to use Bard, an AI-powered chatbot that rivals Microsoft’s Bing chatbot. First announced in February, Bard is an experimental conversational AI service for Google Search.

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Those interested in the Bard can join Google’s queue for access, and some users have reported receiving invitation emails just hours after signing up. There is a long list of typical functions that Google says Bard can perform:

  • Explain why lightning might strike the same place twice
  • Help you write your first novel
  • Craft a packing list for your weekend getaway
  • Outline a blog about your summer mocktail recipes
  • Explain why large language models may make mistakes
  • Create an art studio logo
  • Suggest high-protein options to add to a vegan diet

Bard beta access is limited to the US and UK at the moment, and there is an unknown waiting time. Google does not allow Google Workspace accounts to request an invitation.

According to Google, Bard uses a “light and improved version of LaMDA,” so the chatbot will offer a different experience than the OpenAI-enabled Bing chat interface.

Bard is not designed to replace Google Search, instead Google says it is “complementary”. Google warns that Bard learns from a wide range of information that includes real-world biases and stereotypes, so a chatbot can provide inaccurate, misleading, or false information. It will improve over time based on feedback, and Google plans to add capabilities like markup and more languages ​​in the future.

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