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At this year’s Google I/O conference, the company announced significant upgrades to Google Bard, which is now available in over 180 countries. Google developed Bard as its own AI chatbot to compete against OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s GPT-4 powered Bing.
Bard is based on PaLM 2, an advanced AI model that Google announced in February. One of its PaLM 2 models is lightweight enough to work on smartphones, CEO Sundar Pichai claimed.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian informed Reuters that the division is securing customers like Deutsche Bank AG and Uber Technologies Inc for testing purposes, as they evaluate and assess the effectiveness of Google’s latest technology.
Bard too has garnered interest among tech enthusiasts since its launch and is seen as a strong competitor to ChatGPT. Google has added several new features to enhance user experience and overcome the limitations of ChatGPT.
We’ve listed eight Bard features that ChatGPT doesn’t have, as of now.
Access to the web
One notable advantage of Bard over ChatGPT is its access to the internet. ChatGPT does not have direct internet access and can access the web only through plugins on its paid version—ChatGPT Plus.
Bard can provide comprehensive and informative answers by leveraging the power of the internet. It can give real-time information, fetch the top news, and answer questions with the most up-to-date data. However, it should be noted that Bard is still in the experimental phase, and there may be instances where the information is inaccurate or offensive.
Meanwhile, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had tweeted expressing their intention to add internet plugins and code execution plugins.
Bard also surpasses the paid and unpaid versions of ChatGPT when it comes to generating images as response. Google, at the event, announced that they’ll provide AI image generation capabilities through integration with Adobe Firefly. This feature enhances the visual aspect of the conversation and allows users to obtain more contextually rich information.
Bard outperforms ChatGPT when it comes to voice prompts as well, providing users with the ability to interact through voice input. This offers a convenient way to obtain responses while multitasking or when typing is not feasible. This voice interaction capability gives Bard an edge over its competitors.
The integration of Bard with Gmail is another significant advantage. With over 2 billion users, Gmail is widely used for communication. Having access to an AI chatbot like Bard within the email service opens up new possibilities for email interactions and can enhance the experience.
However, ChatGPT is being added to Microsoft work software, Microsoft 365, and will be embedded into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and its Gmail-equivalent Outlook. The OpenAI chatbot can perform this through plugins.
Bard also offers the functionality to export results to Gmail and Docs instantly. Users can easily share the generated content with friends and colleagues by exporting it directly to these platforms. This feature streamlines the process of sharing information and makes composing emails hassle-free.
On the other hand, OpenAI has released a similar export option in settings—where users get to export their account details and conversations which will be sent to your registered email in a downloadable file, but it says that processing may take some time.
One standout feature of Bard is its ability to use images as prompts. Users can simply click a picture or scan an image using Google Lens and ask Bard for assistance. For instance, a user can lookup similar holiday destinations as portrayed in another image and can also ask about its history and significance. This feature opens up new possibilities for interaction and prompt generation in AI chatbots.
Similarly, GPT-4 also claims to be a large multimodal model which accepts image and text inputs, to emit text outputs but the capability hasn’t been introduced even in the paid version as of the date of publishing this article.
Bard has the advantage of internet connectivity, allowing it to summarise web pages by simply sharing the link. In contrast, ChatGPT lacks internet connectivity, requiring users to manually copy and paste the content they want to summarise.
However, Bard has its limitations, particularly in terms of toxicity. During a test, the model produced toxic responses more than 30% of the time when given explicitly toxic prompts. Additionally, in languages like English, German, and Portuguese, PaLM 2 tended to exhibit more obvious toxic behaviour overall.
Although designed to compete with OpenAI’s GPT-4, it is challenging to directly compare the two models due to their different architectures and testing methodologies. In reasoning tasks, Google’s PaLM 2 performed similarly to or better than GPT-4. However, in coding tasks, PaLM 2 required multiple attempts and additional coding tokens to achieve good performance.