Alphabet-owned Google has announced it is releasing its experimental conversational AI service called Bard.

According to Google, Bard seeks to bring together the world’s knowledge and the intelligence of Google’s large language models using Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA).

Google is playing catch up with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has been a game-changer in the AI industry and has set the bar for large language models. As a natural language processing tool, ChatGPT can understand and respond to user queries in a highly accurate and human-like manner.

Understanding and responding to user queries could potentially disrupt the dominance of companies like Google in the search advertising market, as ChatGPT’s abilities allow for more precise targeting and personalised advertising experiences for users. 

For example, integrating ChatGPT into search engines can create advertising campaigns tailored to individual users’ specific needs and interests. In addition, ChatGPT’s ability to generate human-like text could also potentially create more engaging and persuasive ads. 

One example of this is Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile ad campaign. Reynolds asked ChatGPT to write a commercial for Mint Mobile in his voice using a joke, a curse word, and letting people know that Mint’s holiday promo is still ongoing. The result, in Reynolds’s own words, is “eerie” and “mildly terrifying.”

Google is responding to this by planning to integrate its AI advancements into its other products in addition to Bard, starting with search. asia%2fcontent%2f20230207041520 Untitled+design+ +2023 02 07T105547.017

A test shot of Bard in action

“Google’s release of Bard is a testament to the growing impact and power of AI. We see AI as the most important way we can deliver on our mission to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful,” said Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and Alphabet in a blog post.

“Google has a long history of using AI to improve search, and their latest AI technologies are creating new ways to interact with information. We’re working to bring these latest AI advancements into our products, starting with search.”

Google is also aware that Microsoft and OpenAI have had a strategic partnership since 2019, which includes a multi-year agreement to use Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform for OpenAI’s AI research and development.  

Both parties have also been working together on several projects, such as the deployment of GPT-3 models on Azure and the development of a new programming language called “Equality” that aims to make AI more accessible to developers. 

Microsoft has since confirmed it will make a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, worth US$10 billion, and plans to integrate many of its products, including Word, into ChatGPT.

For example, Microsoft is looking at launching a version of its Bing search engine that uses the AI behind ChatGPT to answer some search queries rather than just showing a list of links. 

Tim Lindley, managing director for Asia-Pacific at VaynerMedia tells Campaign that this feels like an exciting moment for search. He explains algorithms have improved, but search has essentially been the same since Google was invented, which is indexing text and surfacing the bits that best match a person’s query.

“ChatGPT’s inference model allows it to predict the intent behind a query that it’s never seen before, treating the input in a fundamentally different way to one entered into Google,” says Lindley.

“ChatGPT could have a systemic effect on the overall web traffic model as we know it, not just the front end of search. Link clicks serve multiple purposes for Google, from direct monetisation of AdWords links, to sending traffic to ad-powered sites, to feeding back website usage data to Google Analytics, and so much more. If chatbots collectively acquire a significant share of the search market, then the traffic, data, and money in that ecosystem will all get disrupted.”




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