The popularity of generative AI has increased in the last few months, and companies of all sizes have been rushing to develop their chatbots. Google, for example, recently launched its experimental chatbot called Bard, which will rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing bots. Powered by LaMDA, the company’s generative AI technology, the new tool is available to select testers today and will be more widely available in the coming weeks.
The big difference between Bard and its rivals is that it can draw information from the web. This could allow it to answer questions about anything from the latest discovery on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to football drills for aspiring strikers. But with generative AI’s tendency to invent authoritative answers, it will be interesting to see how much of the new tool’s content is factual and how often it will get things wrong.
In a blog post today, two of the Bard project’s leaders cautioned, “Generative AI has a history of making mistakes. We want people to use Bard to boost their productivity, accelerate their ideas, and fuel curiosity, not as a replacement for research or as a substitute for expert opinion.”
This cautious language is likely intended to mitigate the potential damage that generative AI can do. While it is still early for the technology, its ability to invent and present deceptively convincing information has already been demonstrated on several occasions. It has even led to several companies restricting employee access to ChatGPT (or similar large language models) over data leak concerns.
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Apple, which poached Google’s John Giannandrea over four years ago, is likely preparing its response to the exploding generative AI trend. Whether that is an evolution of Siri, a full-fledged platform, or something entirely different remains to be seen.
The tech giant is interested in hiring employees to help it develop its generative AI solutions. That’s clear when you head to its US careers page where, when you type in the keyword ‘Generative AI,’ 48 search results show up. The roles include everything from Multimodal Generative Modeling Research Engineer and Visual Generative Modeling to Customer Support, Training, and Communications. It will be interesting to see if any of these positions are related to the development of Bard or any other future projects that the company might have up its sleeves.
With WWDC less than a month away, speculation is mounting that the company might reveal a new mixed-reality headset or another game-changing software advance at this year’s event. The company will also give us an update on its progress with developing generative AI as well. With so many of our jobs now being performed by computers, it’s only a matter of time before we start working alongside them. Whether that’s good or bad news depends on how well the technology performs and how much it helps us do our jobs.