What you can (and can’t) do with Bard, Google’s new chatbot | technology

Google just launched Bard, and it is Chat bot Generative AI, in 27 countries of the European Union and Brazil. The tool is available in 40 new languages ​​such as Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi. Like the popular ChatGPT, it is free and offers multiple versions to answer the same question. In addition to being able to compose texts, the Bard can read aloud, similar to a feature already found in the popular Google Translator, and its responses can be shared via Gmail or a public link. To interact with Bard, you must have a Google account.

While there are some improvements over ChatGPT, the OpenAI tool, Google’s intelligent chatbot also has problems: it makes errors when typing web links, misidentifies images, and sometimes provides biased or outdated information.

It includes new information, but the context is lost

Unlike ChatGPT, whose database is limited to 2021, Bard includes up-to-date information from the Internet. For example, I was able to explain that today (July 13th) is the last day to vote by mail for the general elections in Spain. Below the answer is an icon that points to Google results for the question asked.

Bard provides fresh information from the Internet.
Bard provides fresh information from the Internet.

But their answers are still stubborn and imprecise. When asked who is the most influential politician in Spain, Bard categorically replied that it was Pedro Sanchez. In one of his answers, he described him as “a charismatic and popular politician who managed to unite a divided country”. In another movie, he said that Pablo Casado is the second most influential person. And in another, Albert Rivera Diaz, the former leader of Theodanos, who left politics a few years ago, is on the list.

Let’s share the answers

A notable improvement over ChatGPT is the ability to listen for responses. The robot uses a male voice that sounds smoother and less artificial compared to the familiar Google Translate Assistant. Additionally, Bard allows you to export your content to the company’s other products. By clicking the Share button below each answer, you can send an email directly from Gmail or create a document in Google Docs. It is also possible to create a link to the answer and share it on social networks, for example.

Make mistakes when recognizing images

Google has announced its intention to integrate Google Lens, a tool that allows you to upload photos to get information about them, such as identifying what they represent or writing a description. This feature is only available in English, but it doesn’t seem to work well at all. To use it, you need to generate an image link from the Google Photos app and send it to the chatbot. Sending him a picture of Casa Batlló, in Barcelona, ​​Bard got it wrong: his three answers pointed to different places in the world, and none of them pointed to the famous Catalan place.

Bard misidentifies with a photo of Casa Batlló in Barcelona.
Bard misidentifies with a photo of Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

confused links

When Bard was asked to provide a list of organizations most relevant to cancer research, the chatbot provided a list of various names, nearly all from the United States, despite claims that the answers are based on the user’s geographic location. However, when Bard was asked for the web addresses of these institutions, he got it wrong again, providing repeated links to the various institutions. Chatbots often have difficulties using web addresses on the Internet, but ChatGPT 3.5, the free version, adequately answered the same question.

More concerned with privacy

Bard’s delay in reaching the European Union — the chatbot is already in 180 other countries — is largely due to the authorities’ concern about protecting user data. When you first open the page, Bard presents terms and conditions that include a list of “things to know”. First, this Bard uses location and previous conversations to “provide the best answer”; that the information may be inaccurate or inappropriate; that you should not be relied upon for medical, legal, financial or professional advice; And that the user should not include confidential information. Additionally, every time a chat is opened, there is a warning that “conversations can be manipulated by humans” so “sensitive information” should not be included.

Users have the option to select how long they want Bard to keep their data for. By default, Google saves your Bard activity for up to 18 months, but you can set it to three, 36 months, or turn this option off entirely.

The company has stated that it will soon be able to expand its availability to other languages ​​in Spain, such as Catalan, Basque, and Galician. According to Google’s Director of Product Management, Jack Krawczyk, Bard already has the ability to respond in these languages, but “they need to train him to provide responsible answers.”

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