To recap, Bard is Google's search-integrated, AI-powered chatbot, which was billed as a competitor to Microsft's OpenAI tech-powered Bing Search just a few weeks ago.
But Google seriously fumbled the feature's launch, with the bot's first advertisement accidentally showcasing the bot's inability to find and present accurate information to users. Google's stock nosedived as a result, leading the company to lose $100 billion in a day.
Now, Google seems to be reworking its AI strategy. But according to CNBC, that strategy is growing increasingly muddled — as demonstrated by executives who, in an all-hands meeting that took place last Thursday, failed to effectively articulate what Bard is actually supposed to be.
"Bard and ChatGPT are large language models, not knowledge models," one Googler asked execs. "They are great at generating human-sounding text, they are not good at ensuring their text is fact-based. Why do we think the big first application should be Search, which at its heart is about finding true information?"
According to CNBC, Jack Krawczyk, Bard's project lead, responded with a curt: "I just want to be very clear: Bard is not search."
"It's an experiment that's a collaborative AI service that we talked about," he added. "The magic that we're finding in using the product is really around being this creative companion to helping you be the sparkplug for imagination, explore your curiosity, etc."
Reading between the lines, Krawczyk's extremely confusing statement suggests Google is moving away from advertising Bard primarily as a way to assist during web searches.
But that very important marketing detail aside, Krawczyk's very roundabout response to what appears to be a pretty straightforward question appears to be indicative of Google's real problem: regardless of the fact that no one's tech was or is really ready for mass consumption, OpenAI and Microsoft beat Google to the punch.
In short, Google fumbled badly in its effort to catch up and the roads to short-term recovery as well as long-term success are equally unclear.
"Launching AI seems like a knee-jerk reaction without a strategy," another Googler expressed during the all-hands, according to CNBC.
"I disagree with the premise of this question," Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly responded. "We are deeply working on AI for a long time. You are right in the sense that, we have to stay focused on users and make sure we are building things which are impactful."
"It's an intense time," Pichai said elsewhere in the meeting, according to the report. We're sure it is.
More on Google choices: Google Chairman Admits It's Pushing AI to Market Before It's "Really Ready"
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