Google is expanding the availability of its Bard AI chatbot, bringing it to paying Workspace customers. Until now, Bard was only available to users with a personal Google Account. In an update on the official product page, Google confirms the change and wider availability:
- “What: Google Workspace admins can now enable Bard for their domains, allowing their users to access Bard using their Workspace accounts.
- Why: You can now use Bard to help with work, research, or other business needs, when signed into your administrator-enabled Google Workspace account.”
Needless to say, this means Bard is now available to a larger number of users. If you are familiar with Google Workspace, it is the company's productivity suite and rival to Microsoft 365/Office. The service was previously known as G Suite and is a cloud-based solution.
While Bard is becoming available in Workspace, this seems to not be the generative AI integration Google is testing in Gmail and Docs. However, both Bard and that upcoming integration is based on the same intelligence platform.
Bard Leveraging Bard to Take on Microsoft
Google Bard is powered by a lightweight and optimized version of LaMDA, Google's research large language model (LLM). LaMDA can generate natural and coherent responses to any kind of text input, such as questions, commands, or prompts.
Bard is designed to help you boost your productivity, accelerate your ideas and fuel your curiosity. Bard is not a search engine like Microsoft's Bing Chat, but a direct interface to an LLM. However, you can easily visit Google Search to check Bard's responses or explore sources across the web. You can click “Google it” to see suggestions for queries, and Search will open in a new tab.
Earlier today, I reported how Google is working on bringing AI to its dominant search engine. It is likely Bard will form at least some part of this solution when it launches.
Google Bard's Difficult Start to Life
Bard is now available in limited preview for users in the United States and the United Kingdom
While it is similar to ChatGPT from OpenAI, ChatGPT is more mature and has already been upgraded several times, currently running on the GPT-3.5 AI model from OpenAI. Microsoft leverages a ChatGPT integration and GPT-4 in its own Bing Chat solution.
Google was taken by surprise by the launch of Bing Chat and rushed to announce Bard. That decision did not sit well with employees and the situation worsened when Bard mostly failed during its introduction demo.
CEO Sundar Pichai was also seemingly making strange decisions, such as forcing employees to test Bard for hours each day. In an interview, the CEO admits Bard is a prototype and will get better with time.
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