Google has just sent its first invitations to test its conversational AI service Bard, similar to ChatGPT. Only a small, random portion of its superfan program currently has access to it, but this is the first time the company has let the public play with its AI.
A handful of Google fans have been selected to test Bard’s artificial intelligence soon. // Source: Google
Only a select few have received this sesame. On Monday, March 20, users of the Reddit social network reported receiving an email from Google: “Come meet Bard, an early Google experiment that lets you collaborate with generative AI. An invitation to try the conversational artificial intelligence that the multinational is developing on the ChatGPT model, reported by the Android Police news site.
Presented in early February, Bard should notably complete Google’s search results by generating textual answers to the questions it is asked. While the service is currently only accessible internally, these invitation emails mark the opening of this tool to the public for the first time.
A very small group of testers
However, this message was only sent to a handful of members of the Pixel Superfans program, a small closed group of Google enthusiasts who are offered exclusive offers. Moreover, even these lucky ones will have to wait for Google to really open this test phase before being able to play with the AI.
Source : @mon205 via Reddit
In this email, selected superfans are asked to fill out an online form with the email address linked to their personal Google account, then wait for “your access to Bard [soit] configured”. Google also points out that there are more emails than actual participants: once the maximum number of testers is reached, even those who received an invitation will have to wait to test Bard next time.
A public access strategy criticized
Although the project had been in the pipeline for several years, Google has accelerated the development of its artificial intelligence in the face of the success and competition represented by OpenAI’s ChatGPT service, which went online for free access in November 2022. In early February, the CEO Sundar Pichai officially presented the service (making a small $100 billion blunder in passing) by announcing a first phase of internal testing “before making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks”.
Still, an internal question-and-answer session in early March confronted some employees with company executives, deeming Bard’s presentation in early February as hasty. Sundar Pichai had kicked in while saying that “user input is going to be an important part of the process”. This next closed beta for Pixel Superfans therefore seems to be part of this approach.
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