Bard is an experimental AI chat service from Google, designed to function similarly to ChatGPT, but with the key difference that it pulls information from the web. Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced Bard on February 6, 2023. Despite being a new concept, Bard is powered by Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which was introduced two years ago. LaMDA is built on Transformer, Google’s neural network architecture that was invented and open sourced in 2017. Interestingly, Google claims that GPT-3, the language model that ChatGPT is based on, was also built on Transformer.
The initial version of Bard will use a lightweight model version of LaMDA, which requires less computing power and can be scaled to more users. In addition to LaMDA, Bard will draw on all the information available on the web to provide responses, which Pichai says will offer “fresh, high-quality responses.”
The use of LaMDA is a sharp contrast to most other AI chatbots, including ChatGPT and Bing Chat, which use an LLM in the GPT series.
Google opened up its Bard waitlist on March 21, 2023, granting access to a limited number of users in the US and UK on a rolling basis. Early user feedback will be collected to continue improving the AI chatbot.