"Bard's ambition is to combine the breadth of knowledge in the world with the power, intelligence and creativity of our great language models," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said in a statement. a statement.

The software "leverages information from the web to deliver up-to-date, high-quality answers," said the manager, for whom "Bard can be a breeding ground for creativity and a launching pad for curiosity. "

This is a major difference with ChatGPT, which draws from a database and not directly from the internet.

Bard will look, from this point of view, more like a traditional search engine such as that of Google.

The conversational robot is able to "explain NASA's latest discoveries from the James Webb telescope to a 9-year-old child, or tell you about the best strikers in current football, then offer you specific training to improve you" .

Bard relies on LaMDA, a computer program designed by Google to generate conversation robots (chatbots), of which the Mountain View (California) group unveiled the first version in 2021.

LaMDA made headlines in June 2022 when a Google engineer, Blake Lemoine, claimed that artificial intelligence programs were becoming "conscious".

An opinion much criticized in the middle, which considered it absurd or, at best, premature.

More widely available soon

While artificial intelligence (AI) has been pervasive in the tech industry and beyond for years, if not decades, the release of ChatGPT in November put a spotlight on so-called generative AI, which can create content , text, code, image or sound, based on existing data.

It is not the first software of its kind, but it surprised by the quality of its responses, whether writing a text on a given topic, explaining a complex subject in an intelligible way, or even create a poem or the lyrics to a song.

Already a partner of OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, Microsoft announced at the end of January that it would invest "several billion dollars", around 10 billion according to several American media, to extend their collaboration.

Microsoft, Google, but also Meta and Amazon are among the most important players in artificial intelligence, a technology to which they devote colossal investments.

According to several American media, the arrival of ChatGPT has shaken up Google, which already had LaMDA but has since worked hard to offer a product similar to the OpenAI conversational robot within tight deadlines.

Microsoft is due to present progress on several projects on Tuesday, without further details, even if many American media anticipate that artificial intelligence will be in the spotlight and could concern the Bing search engine.

"Bard's announcement today, while waiting for Microsoft's tomorrow, looks like the space race", commented, on Twitter, Santiago Pombo, of the data analysis firm ThoughtSpot, referring to a "war 2.0 search engines".

For now, the use of Bard will be limited to "trusted testers, before making it more widely available in the coming weeks," said Sundar Pichai.

This testing phase aims in particular to "ensure that Bard's responses achieve a high level of quality, security and anchoring in real-world information", according to him.

Like ChatGPT, conversational robots fascinate as much as they worry, between tools likely to spare humans tedious tasks and a threat to many jobs whose usefulness they could question.

Responding indirectly to questions surrounding generative artificial intelligence, Sundar Pichai assures that Google intends to "create reliable and trustworthy systems".

“We are committed to developing AI in a responsible way,” says the CEO, who indicates that the company partners with external organizations, governments and experts “to make AI safe and useful”.

© 2023 AFP