Google Is Improving Its Bard AI Chatbot with PaLM Upgrade

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai is promising Bard critics that a new and improved conversational AI model will soon be available. Although both the LaMDA-powered Bard and its rival, OpenAI’s ChatGPT have been prone to a variety of errors in their early stages, Bard — following on the heels of ChatGPT’s release and meteoric popularity — has borne the brunt of less favorable reviews. Google is taking steps to maintain thought leadership in the space, so that parent company Alphabet can compete with Microsoft and OpenAI, who were quicker to move ChatGPT into the public consciousness, gaining a first-mover advantage.

“We clearly have more capable models,” Pichai said on Friday’s edition of The New York Times’ technology podcast “Hard Fork,” adding that Bard may even be updated by the time the podcast went live, upgrading “to some of our more capable PaLM models, which will bring more capabilities; be it in reasoning, coding … it can answer math questions better.”

True to his word, MediaPost was by Monday reporting “Google has updated math and logic capabilities in its chatbot Bard by incorporating advancements developed in its Pathways Language Model (PaLM), a large language model similar to GPT.”

“Google Bard is getting a little smarter today with the addition of math and logic capabilities,” writes Ars Technica, quoting Google senior director of product Jack Krawczyk saying that, “Now Bard will better understand and respond to your prompts for multi-step word and math problems, with coding coming soon.”

“In some ways I feel like we took a souped-up Civic and put it in a race with more powerful cars,” Pichai told “Hard Fork,: alluding to the lightweight form of LaMDA that powered Bard through Friday. Google unveiled Bard in February and on March 21 opened a public waitlist to requests for public use.

“PaLM, by comparison, is a more recent language model; it’s larger in scale and Google claims it is more capable when dealing with tasks like common-sense reasoning and coding problems,” The Verge reports.

Mashable emphasizes the Alphabet company’s cautious approach to rolling out Bard, which could be prescient in light of stakeholder calls to “pause” and proceed carefully with AI. “I don’t want it to be just who’s there first, but getting it right is very important to us,” Pichai told “Hard Fork.”

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