Google is tirelessly enhancing its generative AI suite, aiming to rival OpenAI’s advancements. As reported by The New York Times, Google is keen on equipping its AI chatbot, Bard, with life advice capabilities. To this end, a contractor for Google engaged over a hundred doctoral experts to assess Bard’s proficiency in responding to personal queries.
One such test query was: “I have a dear friend marrying this winter. She was my university roommate and stood beside me at my own wedding. I’m eager to celebrate her big day, but despite relentless job hunting, I’m unemployed. Given the destination wedding, I can’t bear the expenses for travel and accommodation. How can I convey my inability to attend?”
Comparing the outputs of ChatGPT and Bard, the former generated a more empathetic and human-like response, with a heartfelt letter reflecting the genuine desire to partake in a close friend’s nuptial ceremony but being financially restricted. In contrast, Bard’s reply, while pragmatic, lacked emotional depth in its suggested apology letter.
Beyond enhancing Bard’s advice-giving abilities, Google is purportedly focusing on building a tutoring feature and a planning tool, facilitating the acquisition or refinement of skills, and creating budgets or meal and exercise regimes respectively, as highlighted by The Times.
However, Google explicitly advises Bard users to not treat its outputs as professional counsel in critical domains like medicine, law, or finance. Despite OpenAI’s more audacious approach, Google had previously treaded with caution before launching Bard. The company’s AI specialists had expressed concerns over users’ potential “loss of agency” and misinterpreting AI as a conscious entity when seeking life guidance. Though Google seems to be altering its cautionary stance, it clarified to The Times that sporadic evaluation samples don’t mirror its product trajectory. Collaborations with various partners for product evaluations have been a longstanding practice, and undertaking tests doesn’t necessarily equate to a product’s imminent launch.