Artificial Intelligence on the Internet: The Case for Bard, a Search Engine that Enables Text, Images and Audio-Visual Feedback
Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, is getting an AI refresh. Executives of the company unveiled a new version of Bing at its campus in Redmond, Washington. There will be written responses to questions that summarize information on the web, and the addition of a new interface for complex queries when the Bing results are updated.
You may be aware of the different types of artificial intelligence such as text and images. The search engine giant is beginning to show more of its research into ways to make audio and video with artificial intelligence. Plenty of startups in Silicon Valley are also vying for attention (and investment windfalls) as more mainstream uses for large language models emerge.
OpenAI, too, was previously relatively cautious in developing its LLM technology, but changed tact with the launch of ChatGPT, throwing access wide open to the public. OpenAI has enjoyed a storm of positive publicity, even as it eats huge costs keeping its system free-to-use.
The CEO of Do NotPay, a company that claims to automate administrative chores such as parking fines and requesting compensation from airlines, released a video this week of a person negotiating on a customer’s behalf. The negotiator-bot is powered by the technology that powers ChatGPT. It discusses the problems with the internet service and negotiates a discount worth $120 a year.
ChatGPT is just the latest, more compelling, implementation of a new line of language-adept AI programs created using huge quantities of text information scooped from the web, scraped from books, and slurped from other sources. Training material can be used to answer questions, and it can be used to extract useful information. But because they operate on text using statistical pattern matching rather than an understanding of the world, they are prone to generating fluent untruths.
Bard was unveiled by Google earlier this week as part of an apparent attempt to compete with the success of chatGPT, which has been used to generate essays, song lyrics and responses to questions that were previously searched for on the internet. ChatGPT’s meteoric rise in popularity has reportedly prompted Google’s management to declare a “code red” situation for its search product.
For example, the query “Is it easier to learn the piano or the guitar?” would be met with “Some say the piano is easier to learn, as the finger and hand movements are more natural … Others say that it is more difficult to learn a musical term on the guitar. Pichai also said that Google plans to make the underlying technology available to developers through an API, as OpenAI is doing with ChatGPT, but did not offer a timeline.
There is speculation that a serious challenge to the dominance of GOOGLE on the web is imminent because of the excitement inspired by ChatGGT. Microsoft, which recently invested around $10 billion in OpenAI, is holding a media event tomorrow related to its work with ChatGPT’s creator that is believed to relate to new features for the company’s second-place search engine, Bing. Sam Altman, CEO of Openai, had a photo with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella after the announcement.
GPT is an artificial intelligence model that takes a string of text and predicts what will happen next. OpenAI has gained prominence for publicly demonstrating how feeding huge amounts of data into transformer models and ramping up the computer power running them can produce systems adept at generating language or imagery. Humans can give feedback to another model in order to improve GPT.
Google has, by its own admission, chosen to proceed cautiously when it comes to adding the technology behind LaMDA to products. Racist and gender biases are what Artificial Intelligence models trained on text from the Web are prone to exhibit.
Those limitations were highlighted by Google researchers in a 2020 draft research paper arguing for caution with text generation technology that irked some executives and led to the company firing two prominent ethical AI researchers, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell.
A few of the researchers who worked on the technology used in LaMDA left the company because they were not happy with the way things were being done. The advent of ChatGPT appears to have inspired the company to accelerate its timeline for pushing text generation capabilities into its products.
On February 8 at 8:30 am Eastern, it is predicted that the company will announce artificial intelligence integrations for its search engine. It is free to watch on the internet.
Among all these announcements, one core question persists: Is generative AI actually ready to help you surf the web? These models are very hard to maintain and power so they love to make shit up. Public engagement with the technology is rapidly shifting as more people test out the tools, but generative AI’s positive impact on the consumer search experience is still largely unproven.
Some early Bing testers will have access to a more powerful version of the platform in order to get feedback, according to Microsoft executives. The company is asking people to sign up for a wider-ranging launch, which will occur in the coming weeks.
The new version of Bing uses the language capabilities developed by OpenAI to add a sidebar to the usual list of links, which will offer a written response to a query. In a demonstration, the query “Will the Ikea Flippen loveseat fit into my 2019 Honda Odyssey if I fold down the seats?” elicited an AI-powered response that used details about the love seat’s measurements and the SUV’s cargo space drawn from webpages to estimate that the furniture “might fit with the second or third rows folded.”
This is not a definitive answer and you should measure the actual items before attempting to transport them. A “feedback box” at the top of each response will allow users to respond with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, helping Microsoft train its algorithms. Google yesterday demonstrated its own use of text generation to enhance search results by summarizing different viewpoints.
Like ChatGPT, Bard is built on a large language model, which is trained on vast troves of data online in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts. Experts warn that these tools can spread inaccurate information.
In the demo, which was posted by Google on Twitter, a user asks Bard: “What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9 year old about?” Bard has a number of bullet points, one of which is that JWT took the first pictures of a planet outside our solar system.
The first image showing an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system, was taken in 2004, according to NASA, and was taken by the European Southern Observatory.
Google’s Alphabet Shares and Perception of Bard’s Response: a Preliminary Analysis after the Bard Outburst
Shares for Google-parent Alphabet fell as much as 8% in midday trading Wednesday after the inaccurate response from Bard was first reported by Reuters.
In the presentation Wednesday, a Google executive teased plans to use this technology to offer more complex and conversational responses to queries, including providing bullet points ticking off the best times of year to see various constellations and also offering pros and cons for buying an electric vehicle.