Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives, and AI chatbots have emerged as powerful tools to assist with nearly any task we humans can contrive.
By now, we all know OpenAI’s ChatGPT. But not to be outdone, Google — known for its innovation far beyond just its behemoth search engine — has introduced its own AI chat system called Bard.
In this article, we will explore what Google Bard is, how to use it effectively, and compare it with the hugely popular ChatGPT.
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Fun Fact: What Does Bard Stand For?
The name “Bard” is not an acronym. It is a word dating back to Shakespearean times.
Shakespeare, also referred to as “The Bard”, is known as a master of language and communication. Beyond the literary legend himself, a bard refers to a lyrical poet who used to be employed by patrons to entertain and educate them.
Bard explained that its creators at Google “thought Shakespeare would be a good role model for me, as he was a master of language and communication.”
So, the name “Bard” was chosen for the Google AI language model because it reflects Bard’s ability to generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way.
What Is Google Bard? Easy-to-Understand Version
The truth is that most of us don’t need to know the intricacies of language processing technology. With simplicity in mind, here is a high-level rundown of this conversational AI chatbot.
But before we jump in, let’s go straight to the source for some answers:
If you haven’t had a chance to interact with Bard yourself, you can get started here. All you need is a personal Google account.
Like other AI tools, Bard is a large language model (LLM). You can think of Bard as a conversational partner. It can understand questions and provide human-like responses with an impressively high level of intuition, especially considering Bard is still in beta testing.
In short, Bard and other LLMs like ChatGPT bring a new level of conversational AI to the table. With its ability to understand queries and generate human-like responses, both ChatGPT and Bard open up exciting (if not slightly unnerving) possibilities for AI functionality.
Google Bard vs. Google BERT
The two Google large language models are inseparable from one another. However, they do represent different phases of development and conversational capabilities.
Bard is built on top of Google’s initial AI language model, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). Yes, that one is an acronym and we briefly explain the more technical side of that terminology in the following sections.
Essentially, Bard is a more advanced language model than BERT. A newer version, if you will. It can do everything that BERT can do and a whole lot more.
What Can Bard Do?
Bard offers just about everything you get from a human. It can understand your queries, answer questions, and even engage in multi-turn conversations (several back-and-forths). This makes Bard a powerful tool for a range of tasks, such as:
- Customer service
- Time management
- Tabulating data
If it helps, you can think of Bard as a more intuitive and powerful version of Google Assistant. The two services are separate for now but tech giants claim their marriage is imminent.
How Does Bard Work?
Though the complexities of Bard are outside the scope of this article, there are two key components that allow it to function: transformer models and encoder-decoder architecture. These form its foundation. Together, they navigate through a sequential process of learning, understanding, and how to respond to our questions.
- Transformer models act as synthetic brains that have been extensively trained on vast amounts of textual data. They excel at breaking down sentences into smaller components and comprehending their interrelationships. Through this training, these models generate human-like and contextually relevant responses.
- The encoder-decoder architecture operates through a two-step process. The encoder component takes the input text and transforms it into a compact “code” that captures its underlying meaning. From there, the decoder component utilizes this code to generate an appropriate response.
- The encoder takes the input text and turns it into a kind of “code” that captures its meaning. It breaks down the input into smaller pieces and learns how they relate to each other. It’s like understanding the different parts of a sentence and how they fit together i.e. contextualization.
- The decoder takes the “code” from the encoder to generate a response. It understands the encoded meaning and produces a natural language response. It takes an understanding of the input and uses it to come up with a contextually accurate and relevant reply.
The interplay between these technologies makes Google Bard AI a smart chat system that can understand your queries and respond as if you were talking to another human.
How Does Bard Learn?
Bard can learn new information in three different ways.
- Bard can be trained on new data provided by Google’s team. This can be done by providing Bard with new text data to read and learn from.
- It can be given new prompts and questions by users. When Bard is given a new prompt or question, it builds upon preexisting knowledge to generate a response.
- Bard enhances its responses by learning from user feedback, leveraging it to ensure more accurate answers in future responses.
Bard Learns on LaMDA
The strength of Bard stems from its foundation on Google’s own LLM (Large Language Model) called LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications).
Like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, Google trained LaMDA on many parameters. The billions of parameters, measured in petabytes, act as variables that determine the model’s behavior. A single petabyte is equal to about one billion parameters.
To put a petabyte into scale, a single petabyte is equal to 1,000 terabytes, or enough to store 500 billion pages of standard printed text. That’s enough to store the entire contents of the Library of Congress… 20 times over.
This extensive training has enabled the AI to independently grasp and comprehend natural language. This provides responses that are natural and conversational, making Bard proficient in answering a wide array of questions.
Main Features of Google Bard AI
This is by no means an all-encompassing list of features for Bard. Instead of turning this article into a Dostoevsky-length novel, here are some defining features that make it a versatile tool for such a wide range of tasks:
- Natural Language Understanding (NLP): Bard has been trained on an extensive dataset, allowing it to comprehend and interpret user queries accurately. It understands the nuances of language, including context, sentiment, and even sarcasm. This contextual understanding makes the conversations with Bard more effective and natural.
- Contextual Understanding: One of Bard’s strengths lies in its ability to understand the context of a conversation. It can maintain coherence and continuity throughout the dialogue, providing relevant and meaningful responses. This contextual awareness enhances the user experience and enables Bard to assist users in a more personalized way.
- Task-Oriented Assistance: Bard is designed to assist users with various tasks. Whether you need help with writing, content generation, research, or creative brainstorming, this generative AI is basically an expert brainstormer. It can offer ideas, fact-check information, and even assist with complex problem-solving.
- Multi-Turn Conversations: Unlike traditional chatbots, Bard is capable of engaging in multi-turn conversations (more than one back and forth). It remembers and refers back to previous parts of interactions, ensuring continuity and coherence. This feature makes it ideal for interactive discussions.
- Language Translation: Bard supports language translation, breaking barriers and connecting people globally. It swiftly translates text between languages, enabling communication with speakers of different languages. However, Bard is still evolving, and some users have reported occasional inaccurate translations.
How to Use Google Bard AI
Let’s bring Bard into the discussion. Instead of explaining how to use Google’s AI model from a human perspective, why not let Bard explain itself? As you will see, the answer is basically indistinguishable from what a human would write.
Prompt: “Can you give me a simple step-by-step instruction for using Bard?”
Sure, here are the steps on how to use Google Bard AI:
- Go to the Google Bard AI website.
- Enter your query in the text box.
- Click on the “Ask” button.
- Bard will generate a response.
- You can then read and edit the response as needed.
- Click on the “Generate” button to generate a new response.
Here are some tips for using Google Bard AI:
- Be as specific as possible in your queries.
- Use natural language, as if you were talking to a human.
- Be patient, as Bard may need some time to generate a response.
- Use the “Feedback” button to let Bard know how you think it’s doing.
I hope this helps!
Yes, that’s right, Bard even has good manners.
7 Tips for Using Google Bard AI (and Other AI Chatbots) Effectively
To make the most out of your experience with Google Bard and other AI chatbots, here are some tips and tricks to consider. We suggest using these tips as a jump-off point and figuring out ways to streamline your AI interactions through trial and error:
1. Be Specific
When asking questions or requesting assistance from Bard, providing specific details helps narrow down the scope and improves the accuracy of the response. Clearly state your objective or the information you’re looking for. The quality of AI chatbot responses largely depends on the initial input they receive from the user.
2. Experiment with Prompts
Bard responds to prompts that set the context for the conversation. Prompts are just what the user writes in the chat box. By experimenting with different prompts, you can explore different angles and perspectives for your inquiries. You can copy and paste the following Bard ideas or use them to come up with your own:
- Write a blog post about [topic] that is [adjective] and [adjective]. The adjectives can be used to describe the tone and style of the blog post. For example, you could write a “funny” and “informative” blog post about the latest trends in fashion.
- Write a guest blog post for [website] about [topic]. The website should be included in the prompt so that Bard can tailor the content to the audience. For example, you could write a guest blog post for a fashion website about the latest trends in menswear.
- Write a social media post about [topic] that is [adjective] and [adjective]. The adjectives can be used to describe the tone and style of the social media post. For example, you could write a “funny” and “engaging” social media post about a new product launch.
- Write a press release about [topic]. The press release should include all of the relevant information about the topic, such as the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
- Write a newsletter about [topic]. The newsletter should include all of the latest news and information about the topic.
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3. Leverage Contextual Prompts
Referencing previous parts of the conversation in your prompts can help maintain continuity and build upon Bard’s previous knowledge. This allows for more dynamic and contextually-aware interactions. It also allows you to flesh out or expand certain text or ideas. Think “please explain [x] further?”, “please expand on the idea behind [y]”, or you can simply ask Bard to simplify a response.
4. Iterate and Refine
Remember, Bard learns from feedback. If you find that Bard’s responses don’t fit the bill, don’t hesitate to iterate and refine your queries. Provide additional context or rephrase your questions to get more accurate and tailored responses. Instead of editing the prompt, just add further instructions.
5. Explore Different Writing Styles
Bard can mimic various writing styles. Experiment with different prompts and specify the style you want the response to be in. You can even ask the chatbot to write in the voice of a favorite writer, poet, songwriter, and more.
Whether it’s professional, casual, funny, to-the-point, educational, persuasive, or informative, Bard can adapt to suit your desired tone. If you find a specific prompt that elicits the voice and style you want, try to bookmark it to use again later.
6. Utilize System Prompts
Bard provides system prompts that can guide the conversation and influence the generated responses. These prompts can be used to steer the AI in a particular direction or provide constraints to align with your specific requirements.
7. Review and Edit Responses
Bard generates responses based on its training data, which may occasionally produce inaccurate or irrelevant information. Take the time to review and edit the generated content to ensure it aligns with your objectives and meets the desired quality standards. Bard makes it easy to edit your inputs.
Is Google Bard Better Than ChatGPT?
There are many variables to consider when comparing Google Bard vs. ChatGPT. To offer a practical comparison, we look at three respective focus areas: their usability and accuracy, where they get their data, and whether they offer internet access.
Keep in mind that, depending on your specific needs and objectives, one AI chat system may excel in that specific situation and be more suitable than the other.
Functionality and Accuracy
Both Bard and ChatGPT are great conversation-makers. However, Bard’s contextual grasp of multi-turn conversations gives it an edge in providing more consistent and coherent responses. ChatGPT offers broader coverage of topics with more creativity and has a more general understanding of information.
Knowledge Base and Data Sources
Bard leverages Google’s vast knowledge base, including information from books, articles, websites, and other textual sources. This focused training approach enables Bard to provide accurate and up-to-date information in certain domains. ChatGPT has been trained on a more diverse dataset from the internet, which contributes to its broader knowledge base but may result in less accuracy in specific domains.
Real-Time Connectivity to the Internet
One key difference is that Google Bard can scour the web in real-time, generating relevant and up-to-date answers to users’ questions. This real-time connectivity allows Bard to provide information that reflects the latest events and developments.
On the other hand, ChatGPT relies on training data compiled from Common Crawl, Wikipedia, books, articles, documents, and open internet content up until 2021. This means ChatGPT’s AI engine is yet to catch up with the most recent information. So, if you asked ChatGPT about an event that occurred in 2023, it would not be able to provide accurate information.
Google Bard vs. ChatGPT: Specific Pros & Cons
Now you should have a general idea of where each AI chatbot excels. Next, let’s drill down a bit deeper into the specific pros and cons of each option.
- Factual accuracy: Bard is very good at understanding and responding to factual queries. It can access and process information from a variety of sources, including Google Search, and provide accurate and up-to-date answers.
- Real-time connectivity to the internet: Bard can scour the web in real-time, generating relevant and up-to-date answers to users’ questions. This real-time connectivity allows Bard to provide information that reflects the latest events and developments.
- Knowledge base and data sources: Bard leverages Google’s vast knowledge base, including information from books, articles, websites, and other textual sources. This focused training approach enables Bard to provide accurate and precise responses in certain domains.
- Generating creative outputs: Bard is not as good at generating creative text formats. Though it has improved, ChatGPT tends to outshine Bard when it comes to creative tasks or writing. This means that ChatGPT is better at generating creative text formats, such as poems, marketing copy, songs, and more.
- Creativity: ChatGPT is very good at generating creative text formats. You can direct responses with specific writing styles (educational, conversational, casual) or voices (quirky, authoritative, punchy).
- Conversational ability: ChatGPT is better at answering open-ended questions. This includes questions that require reasoning or creativity to answer. Bard generally excels at answering questions that have a single, correct answer.
- Understanding user intent: ChatGPT is better at understanding the user’s intent in a conversation. This helps it to provide more relevant and helpful responses. Bard can also understand the user’s intent, but not quite as well.
- Factual accuracy: ChatGPT is not as good at understanding and responding to factual queries as Bard. It can make mistakes, especially when it is asked to generate text on topics that it is not familiar with. Basically, it makes things up more often than Bard. However, this is an area in which both need to improve.
Shared Weaknesses of AI Chatbots
⚠️ Bias: Both Bard and ChatGPT are trained on massive datasets from human-created sources. This makes them susceptible to the biases that are already present in that data, which can lead to outputs that are potentially offensive or harmful.
⚠️ Lack of understanding: Neither is always able to understand the nuances of human language. This can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Future of AI-Language Models and Search
As Bard, ChatGPT, and other AI models come to the masses, they will continue to evolve and improve. Instead of relying solely on traditional search engines, users can engage in more conversational and personalized interactions with AI chat systems.
With the meteoric rise of ChatGPT, many thought ChatGPT posed a direct threat to Google’s search engine dominance. But with the beta of their generative AI search now available, it looks like they have no plan to relinquish the search throne.
As Google exemplifies, the future of search will likely involve a blend of traditional search engines and AI chat systems. Soon, we will likely have two search options: a quick search for factual information or engaging in more nuanced discussions with AI chatbots to assist with tasks or deeper learning.
Suffice it to say, Bard is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. By following the tips and strategies in this guide, you now know how to enhance your experience with Bard and leverage its full capabilities.
Just keep in mind that Bard is still under development and is not always accurate. As AI capabilities continue to improve, Bard and other AI chatbots will become even more intuitive, accurate, and overall versatile tools to assist us humans with our tasks.
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