Google may have just shown its hand in the artificial intelligence arms race after one of its head honchos admitted that the company rushed its rollout.
During a talk at the TechSurge nerd conference, John Hennessy — the chairman of Google parent company Alphabet — let slip a very interesting tidbit about Bard, the tech giant's newly-released competitor to OpenAI's wildly successful and hotly-debated ChatGPT.
"I think Google was hesitant to productize this because it didn't think it was really ready for a product yet," Hennessy said, per CNBC, "but, I think, as a demonstration vehicle, it's a great piece of technology."
Bard About It
After making pre-release headlines last summer when one of its (now-fired) engineers went public with his belief that the AI had gained sentience, Google's Bard chatbot was unveiled last week with a demo that contained a pretty glaring factual error — and that was just the beginning of the problems.
Just days after that botched rollout demo, CNBC reported that Google employees were mighty displeased with the way Bard's been doing, with someone even going so far as to create and share an internal meme suggesting the company has turned into a veritable "dumpster fire" since the start of 2023.
In short, those disgruntled Google employees felt like Bard's disastrous debut was a rush job in response to ChatGPT's runaway success — and that elephant was most certainly in attendance during Hennessy's speech at the Mountain View, California-based tech summit.
David And Goliath
Hennessy, per CNBC, admitted that OpenAI had beaten out Google on the release of its chatbot in part because Bard was still spitting out phony answers. To be fair, ChatGPT also screws up in similar ways, but in spite of its wild success, OpenAI is no Google and it can afford to take risks that Google cannot.
"You don’t want to put a system out that either says wrong things or sometimes says toxic things," the Alphabet chairman said, adding that tech needs to be "a little more careful about the situation we create in civil society."
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