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Google’s Bard and ChatGPT

  • 4 min read

Few of us have missed the hype around ChatGPT, and that AI has become smarter and now can write essays and converse in an eerily humanlike way. How does the technology work, and why is a chatbot compared to revolutionizing technology such as the steam engine or the electric motor? In this article Emma Berglund, Customer Experience Specialist, gives it to us in plain English and tells us what is what. In a following article Mathias Johansson, Head of ACE products, will share an analysis of how it affects us in the contact center industry.

The name of OpenAI’s chatbot “ChatGPT is” an abbreviation of Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer and is based on a technology called Large Language Models (LLM). Somewhat simplified it can be described as text generating language engines that are trained on massive amounts of data based on machine learning.

ChatGPT, and the technology it is based on, is developed by the American research company Open AI, that was founded by a bunch of super high-profile entrepreneurs and investors. One of them being Reid Hoffman, who also happens to be one of the founders of LinkedIn. Tesla’s Elon Musk was also onboard from the start. In a tweet from 2015, Musk presents the formation of Open AI. Budget: 1 billion dollars.

Seven years down the road, on the 30th of November 2022, ChatGPT was launched. From one day to another this technology that up until that point was known and used by just a few, became available to the public. After just five days one million people had started a trial account, and the hype in social and traditional media was monumental. On February 1st the number of users reached 100 million, which makes it the fastest growing internet service ever.

But the technology isn’t new. At least not as new as most of us believe. The big drop actually happened back in 2020 when OpenAI launched the predecessor, the language model GPT-3.

Microsoft enters the scene

In January 2023, Microsoft announced that they are investing several billion dollars in the technology and teams up with OpenAI. It will be exciting to see what comes out from that collaboration, but we already know that Microsoft will use the revolutionizing AI technology to leverage their search engine Bing. They will also integrate it with other applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Outlook and Teams. Just imagine creative searches via chat with Bing, smart autogenerated notes from real-time translated Teams meetings, and AI that creates your PowerPoint slides.

Google responds

It’s naive to believe that Google will just step aside and let someone else become number one in search services. And on February 6th, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced that a select group of people will start testing their chatbot known as “Bard”. Bard is built on Google’s own language model: Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA). Hopefully we will get more details shortly about how Bard works.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Google also are planning on integrating the technology in services that are already on the market. Bard will for example be able to explain things that are difficult, plan parties, compare films that are Oscar’s nominated, or give you a recipe based on what you have in your fridge.

Over the years Google has gathered massive amounts of data about who we are and what we like to buy and do. Now there is speculation about that combination being used to offer us an entirely new AI injected experience.

Technology that changes things profoundly

An array of services that are based on an early version of the new AI technology are already available today. Such as services that provide automatic answers on feedback on services, and that creates blog posts, search engine optimized web texts as well as summarizes and translates texts. It can also generate, and correct, code. Exactly what services we will see in the future remains to be seen, but it will likely be revolutionizing for us, both at work and in our free time.

Comparisons have been made with the launch of the iPhone that made the calendar, map, camera, mp3 player and a bunch of other gadgets obsolete. And if you haven’t already seen the movie Her, from 2013 with Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, about a man’s relationship with his AI-assistant, now is the time to watch it.

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