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Artificial intelligence: Google opens its Bard chatbot to 180 countries

Google on Wednesday opened its generative artificial intelligence chatbot Bard to 180 countries in English and announced the upcoming integration of this technology (capable of creating content on demand, in plain language) with many other platforms, including online search. line.

“We have been primarily an artificial intelligence company for seven years and we are at a turning point,” said Sundar Pichai, the Californian group’s boss, in front of thousands of people gathered in his amphitheater in Mountain View.

“For some time now, we have been making our products radically more useful through generative AI, following a bold and responsible approach,” he added.

The release in November of the ChatGPT interface – designed by the Californian startup OpenAI, mainly financed by Microsoft – launched a frantic race for generative AI, between exuberant enthusiasm and apocalyptic worries.

Google responded with its own interface, Bard, which opened to the public at the end of March. On Wednesday, the company announced that the chatbot is now available in English in 180 countries around the world.

The chatbot will soon be able to converse in 40 languages ​​and must become multimedia, that is to say be able to integrate images into the questions of Internet users and into its answers.

– Rivalry –

The world number one in digital advertising also showed how online research will gradually change, with written answers to Internet users’ questions above the traditional links, and the possibility of exchanging with the interface, asking for details. , For example.

The new Google should arrive in the next few weeks, the company has opened a waiting list on which you have to register to use it in a few weeks.

Sundar Pichai, the boss of the Californian group Google on Wednesday May 10, 2023, in front of thousands of people gathered in his amphitheater in Mountain View (AFP - Josh Edelson)
Sundar Pichai, the boss of the Californian group Google on Wednesday May 10, 2023, in front of thousands of people gathered in his amphitheater in Mountain View (AFP – Josh Edelson)

The Californian group is also developing Bard extensions, so that users can interact with the robot directly from the Maps mapping application, the Gmail mailbox or the Docs online word processor.

The customers of its cloud activity are not forgotten, with tools for companies that want to design their own generative AI-based tools (search, chatbots, etc.) for their applications, with their own data.

Microsoft recently made similar announcements. The IT firm had already integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine and opened it up completely to the general public last week, thus relaunching this hitherto negligible portal compared to Google.

The two competitors compete with ads for a stated purpose: that their AI-inflated platforms become the preferred personal assistants of users.

– “Fascinating” –

Google presented PaLM 2 on Wednesday, the new, more advanced version of its language model, these algorithms trained on mountains of data which make it possible to create conversational robots like ChatGPT or Bard.

“It has allowed a lot of improvements in Bard over the past two months, in terms of math, logic, reasoning skills, and even coding and correcting code,” product manager Jack Krawczyk said at a conference. press.

“We are at a fascinating time when the gap between human imagination and the capabilities of technology is rapidly closing,” he added.

But the prowess of Silicon Valley is worrying, especially since OpenAI launched GPT-4 in March, a “great multimedia model (…) as efficient as humans in many professional and academic contexts”.

The boss of the start-up, Sam Altman, explained that he is working towards so-called “general” artificial intelligence, that is to say programs with human cognitive abilities.

Since then, many experts have aired their fears, from misinformation to replacing jobs, going so far as to call for a six-month break from research.

Geoffrey Hinton, considered one of the founding fathers of AI, said on May 3 that the “existential threat” that AI posed to humanity was “serious and close”, during a roundtable organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The computer scientist has just left Google, where he worked for ten years, “to be able to talk about the dangers of AI” freely, he explained.

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