Google’s experimental ChatGPT rivals include a search bot and tool called ‘Apprentice Bard’

Google employees have been testing several potential ChatGPT competitors as part of the tech giant’s bid to launch a response to OpenAI’s technology, according to CNBC. An earlier New York Times report said Google CEO Sundar Pichai declared “code red” and accelerated AI development to unveil at least 20 AI-powered products this year. Utilities, CNBC has described a number of products the company is working on, including a chatbot called “Apprentice Bard” that uses Google’s LaMDA conversation technology.

Apparently, Google management has asked the LaMDA team to prioritize work on a ChatGPT competitor, telling them it takes precedence over any other project, and even warning them to attend unrelated meetings. Apprentice Bard reportedly looks and functions like ChatGPT, in that a user can type a question or prompt into a text box and then get a written answer.

CNBC says it has seen examples proving that the bot’s responses contain information from recent events – something ChatGPT is incapable of doing, as it has only limited knowledge of anything that happened after 2021. In one example, Apprentice Bard could answer whether there is another round of layoffs at Google. (Unlikely for this year, it said, given that the company is doing well financially.) As you recall, Google’s LaMDA tech had fired a former corporate engineer after he claimed it had made him feel.

Google is also reportedly testing a new search page that uses a question-and-answer format. The experimental homepage contains five possible question prompts to replace “I’m Feeling Lucky” below the search bar. After a user enters their query, the page generates human-like answers in gray bubbles. Below those answers are suggested follow-up questions, followed by the typical search results with links and headlines. In addition, Alphabet is working on a project called “Atlas” under its cloud unit. While CNBC didn’t have any details on what it is, it’s reportedly still part of Google’s “code red” efforts.

It’s unclear at this point which Google projects will be released to the public. Google AI chief Jeff Dean told employees at an all-hands meeting to discuss the company’s response to ChatGPT that it is “going more conservative than a small startup.” After all, giving people wrong information will have a much bigger impact for a well-known company like Google. Indeed, The times previously said the tech giant is prioritizing security, accuracy and blocking misinformation when it comes to developing its search chatbot. If reports that Microsoft is integrating ChatGPT’s technology into Bing in March are true, we’re likely to see Google’s search chatbot in the near future as well.

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