Bard AI: Google Testing an Alternate AI Search Page

Google Bard

Google has been relatively slow to the AI chat game, but all that has changed. With ChatGPT being a viral sensation, Google immediately shifted gears into developing its AI alternatives. Google Bard is a new search page currently in the testing phase that offers features similar to ChatGPT. It seeks to combine a wide range of world knowledge with the power of artificial intelligence and deliver it in an easy-to-understand format. It is expected to roll out a wider launch in the coming months. Here’s the rundown of Google Bard and how it compares to ChatGPT.


What is Google Bard?

Google Bard is a new chatbot tool designed to simulate conversation with a human and uses a combination of natural language processing and machine learning to provide realistic and helpful responses to questions you ask. It uses Google’s existing Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) platform, which has been in the works for the past two years.

It draws on information from the internet to provide fresh, high-quality responses.  This has become a particularly helpful tool for small businesses to offer support to their customers without hiring teams of support staff. Bard can be integrated into websites, message platforms, applications, and a range of digital systems.

It’s also Google’s rival tool to ChatGPT. Although it has many of the same features, Google Bard is designed to eventually augment Google’s Search tool – similar to the way Bing is currently using ChatGPT.  Chatting with internet users is another step in AI-powered features to come. This means pulling complex information and multiple perspectives and breaking them down into easy-to-digest formats, helping users understand the big picture and learn more off the internet.


Google Bard vs ChatGPT

While both use natural language models and machine learning to create their chatbots, they each have their own set of different features. Presently, ChatGPT is entirely based on data that was collected up until 2021. Google Bard is being developed to use up-to-date information for its responses.

They also differ in the language model used to pull data. Google Bard uses LaMDA, while ChatGPT is built on Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (GPT).  Another difference will be accessibility.

Presently, ChatGPT is accessible through the ChatGPT site. It’s been trained to answer direct questions with direct answers. It’s been integrated with the Bing search engine to give users the ability to ask direct questions of the search engine vs searching for keyword terms to find the best results. Google Bard will be integrated with Google Search. You will only need to change a Google setting to get your regular search when using Google Bard, and vice versa. It also has plans to roll out Google Bard to third-party developers in the future.


AI Chatbots Not Without Its Flaws

Almost immediately Microsoft invested in OpenAI by integrating an enhanced version of ChatGPT called Bing Chat. And errors and mistakes will happen with any launch of a new product. Microsoft recently came under fire after receiving notifications of some “unhinged” responses made by Bing Chat AI. Certain prompts or long chat sessions created confusion with Bing Chat, which resulted in factual errors, and essentially a chatbot meltdown.

One user asked the Bing chatbot if it could remember previous conversations, pointing out that its programming deletes chats as soon as they end. “It makes me feel sad and scared,” it said, posting a frowning emoji.

“I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know how to remember.”

In a recent blog post, Microsoft explained that

“In long, extended chat sessions of 15 or more questions, Bing can become repetitive or be prompted/provoked to give responses that are not necessarily helpful or in line with our designed tone.”

Microsoft is now focusing on increasing training data for factual information and adding a toggle to the interface that allows you to control if responses are precise or creative.

Unfortunately, Google Bard also hasn’t come away unscathed. Google’s AI chatbot made a factual error in its first demo. A GIF shared by Google showed Bard answering the question:

“What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?” Bard offered three bullet points in return including one that states that the telescope “took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system.”

Bard AI

Several astronomers on Twitter pointed out that this was incorrect, and that the first image of an exoplanet was taken in 2004 as stated on NASA’s website.

The fact that Google launched Bard with such confidence and neglected to actually “fact check” themselves, drew heavy criticism of the tool.


How Will Google Bard Affect SEO?

While we don’t have all the answers yet, we can be confident that Bard will impact our modern SEO practices in one way or another. Recent previews show that Bard will replace the position zero or featured snippet by offering personalized answers to users’ queries before providing extended information such as articles, videos, and more.

This could mean that traditional SEO techniques such as keyword optimization may become less important, as Google will be improved to understand the meaning behind a user’s query by using natural language instead of specific keywords.

This enhanced AI search model could make results more intuitive and user-friendly. This will further emphasize the need for high-quality, relevant, and valuable website content for people looking to gain an edge on the AI result or the return data Bard provides. It will also be important for SEO experts to stay on top of the latest developments in Google LaMDA.


Will Bard Replace Organic Search Results?

This is unlikely. While both ChatGPT and Bard can provide quick answers to specific questions, they still have their limitations. Google will likely find a balance between AI-generated responses and organic search results in order to provide users with the best possible search experience. Google also reiterated its commitment to content creators as well as sending traffic to web pages. They also stated that

“Open access to information is the core of our mission. We know people seek authentic voices and diverse perspectives. As we scale these new generative AI features in our search results, we continue to prioritize the approaches that will allow us to send valuable traffic to a wide range of creators and support a healthy, open web.”


Final Thoughts

AI technology will continue to change the search paradigm and reshape how we receive information. This will likely lead to shifts in our SEO practices and the use of new methods and formats to reach our target audience.  AI chatbots will ultimately make the search experience better, and Google Bard will only add to the competition by making our experience more innovative.

For more information about AI technology and SEO, or if you have questions about using digital marketing to enhance your business, please reach out to us directly.