Google’s fears about the new ChatGPT language model translate into innovation. The giant is in fact preparing to test a new artificial intelligence to be integrated into its search engine, Apprentice Bard – a chatbot with a technology similar to that of OpenAI.
Alphabet is in fact working on the “Atlas” project, a round of processes in frantic response to ChatGPT – the AI technology of language models launched at the end of last year. And which has given rise to a real revolution in the global tech sector.
Let’s see how Google is preparing to face the challenge to artificial intelligence launched by OpenAI and Microsoft, through the development of new technologies to maintain its hegemony over search engines.
Apprentice Bard: ChatGPT’s first competitor
To date, one of the most eye-catching ideas in the fight for AI is “Apprendice Bard”. This is a chatbot in testing currently used only by internal Google staff, which looks more or less like ChatGPT.
Apprentice Bard could soon become the first competitor worthy of ChatGPT. It will use LaMDA technology – Language Model for Dialogue Application -, flagship of Google’s artificial intelligence department.
“Following the success of ChatGPT, the LaMDA team has received significantly more funding and will need to prioritize the development of a technology in response,” reads an internal document revealed to the press. “This takes precedence over any other project, and LaMDA employees shouldn’t waste time on other things.”
Apprentice Bard looks exactly like ChatGPT: Google employees test it by asking a question in the dialog, receive an answer and give feedback. But Apprentice Bard has something that ChatGPT doesn’t have: the ability to include the most recent events in its replies.
The AI will replace Meena, an older version of a chatbot launched in-house and then discontinued. According to Google employees, Apprentice learns at an impressive rate.
In one example, an employee asked Apprentice if Google was planning to lay off more people. Taking into account the latest round of layoffs involving 6% of the workforce within the giant.
“According to my database, Google is unlikely to decide another round of layoffs in 2023,” Apprentice reportedly replied. “Layoffs are generally conducted to reduce costs and structure, but Google is in full swing. In 2022, its share prices increased by 70%”.
Google employees concern: ‘We can’t afford to flop’
A dedicated research area for artificial intelligence is also in the testing phase, where the user will be able to ask questions and receive answers thanks to an extremely advanced language model. An unthinkable effort, constantly monitored by the upper floors of the giant.
Indeed, the development of these technologies originates from a recent meeting between the company’s top management and employees. Who expressed concerns and fears both for the rapid popularity spike of ChatGPT. But also for Google’s reputation, which could falter if new technologies should be launched too soon and malfunction.
Jeff Dean allayed the doubts, declaring that – unlike a small startup – Google cannot afford a flop. And that the products will be launched when they are completed and optimized. Even if the release date of some new technologies is already foreseen this ‘year.
Other technologies in the test phase
The company is also testing an alternative search page, a sort of desk where the user can interact with a chatbot ready to answer any question.
According to the screenshots, this technology would replace the evergreen “I’m feeling lucky” on the search engine. Putting in its place a dialog in which the user can specifically search for an answer to their question or ask Google to perform a task.
When we type a text into the dialog box, the search results will show a view similar to the one we see today. But, with the addition of a pale gray window in which we will find a more “human” answer to our query.
To date, however, these are only technologies in beta testing. And it is not clear which ones will be incorporated into future Google products. One thing is certain. The stimulus deriving from the challenge between Microsoft and Google will soon lead to incredible developments in the field of artificial intelligence.