Dr Pradeep Mahapatra
For the first time in the history of the Internet, a generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) launched on November 30, 2022 could attract 10 crore unique users within a period of two months, calculated a report published by internet traffic research platform ‘SimilarWeb’. ‘SensorTower’, another research platform explained that the other two popular applications ‘Tik-Tok’ took nine months to gather 10 crore users, while ‘Instagram’ toiled two years to reach the mark. The United States San Francisco-based ‘OpenAI’ has developed an AI-powered image generator ‘Dall-E2’ along with the language model ‘ChatGPT’.
Taking into consideration unprecedented consumer interest on generative AI, internet forerunner ‘Google’ announced on February 6, 2023 launch of a new product termed as ‘Bard’ which is explained as an ‘experimental observational artificial intelligence’. Sundar Pichai, CEO of ‘Alphabet’, the parent company of Google announced in a blog post that the new product would be tested by a limited number of trusted users before launching for the public. Google has been engaged in the development of language models employing AI during the recent past and furnished a software entitled ‘Language Model for Dialogue Application (LaMEDA)’ in 2020.
Sundear Pichai wrote that use of AI in online applications claims priority in the international level. It is noteworthy that the volume of research on AI doubles in every six months by 2023. As a result, more and more usable products are pushed into the market and people avail of improved amenities and services worldwide. Google offered AI-enriched products like LaMEDA, PaLM, Imagen and MusicLM for popular use.
It is being discussed that though Google has a long history of employing AI in its services, it never offered facilities to consumers for direct use. But the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI and huge consumer attention to the product in a way compelled Google to offer a similar service to the public. On the other hand, OpenAI is supported by Google’s competitor ‘Microsoft’ and soon after the launch of ChatGPT Microsoft announced a huge investment for further development of the platform. Thus, competition between Microsoft and Google is evident centered on the chat-bot issue.
There may be many differences in working between ChatGPT and Bard. Both platforms are designed as conversational applications. Whenever a question is asked, the application will present the answer in written text. While ChatGPT will rely on resources for which it has been trained, Bard will draw information from the Internet. By the beginning of 2023 ChatGPT knowledge base was told to be limited up till 2021. The platform could answer up to that time period only. For example, since the Russia-Ukraine war started during the earlier part of 2022, any question relating to the war cannot be answered by ChatGPT.
In the field of development of generative AI, along with United States-based ChatGPT and Bard, Chinese search engine giant ‘Baidu’ announced to launch a similar product ‘Ernie Bot’ in March 2023. Though none of such popular software developed in Germany, Britain, France and Russia were in sight till the first part of February 2023; innovations are expected to come in the near future as the later-mentioned nations have a stronghold in research activities around AI applications. Specialists predict that the ‘new wave of computing’ started from Silicon Valley sweep through the globe in record time.
The word ‘Bard’ in English language and literature identifies a poet-singer. In Medieval times bards were professional poets, singers and musicians who composed verses in honor of kings and soldiers’ heroic accomplishments. In India, we had also such a tradition. In modern times Google’s Bard is all set to generate text on any specific topic in response to a question asked online, maybe in the mobile smartphone screen. Google has stated that it will also implement AI in its search engine. The new feature can answer critical questions instead of reproducing of available literature from the web. For example, a question like after the up-gradation of Google Translate by the end of 2023, how many Odia readers will like to read Latin American literature online in Odia, …etc.
Shortly three days after the CEO of Google announced the use of AI in its search engine, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella disclosed in its headquarters in Redmond, Washington State in US on February 7, 2023 that a new version of their search engine ‘Bing’ has been incorporated with AI and remarked, “The race starts today”. Though by the beginning of 2023, the share of Bing Search engine is estimated to be about ten percent of the total search universe, the new version may attract more users which may translate into earning more advertisement revenue. Microsoft owns the Windows operating system. It has also a web browser ‘Edge’. It is being told that Microsoft will roll out an intelligent chatbot placed alongside Bing which can summarize web pages on command.
Media experts speculate that innovations like ChatGPT, Bard, and Ernie Bot can take care of data collection and arrangement for the creators enabling them to spend more time and efforts for critical thinking and qualitative improvement of the content, which paints a bright picture of the future of creativity.
(English translation of the original Odia newsletter by the author circulated on February 10, 2023. https://tinyletter.com/pradeepmahapatra/letters/message-288 It is an open-access content, free for translation and reproduction)
Dr. Pradeep Mahapatra is a retired faculty of Journalism, at Berhampur University, Odisha.https://about.me/pradeepmahapatra
Pichai, Sundar. An important next step on our AI journey
AI becomes the new battleground : Google tests ChatGPT rival Bard. Business Standard (Bhubaneswar Edition). February 08, 2023
Milmo, Dan Chat GPT reaches 100 million users two months after launch. The Guardin. Feb 2, 2023