Google CEO Sundar Pichai has responded to criticism of the company’s experimental AI chatbot, Bard, promising to upgrade it soon. The chatbot was released on March 21, but it failed to gain recognition and attention despite the massive popularity of its rivals, ChatGPT and Bing Chatbot. Pichai acknowledged the need to work on the experimental AI chatbot in a Hard Fork podcast, saying that Google will be upgrading Bard to some of their more capable PaLM models soon, which will bring more capabilities in reasoning, coding, and answering maths questions.
Bard is running on a lightweight and efficient version of LaMDA, an AI language model that focuses on delivering dialogue, which Pichai compared to a souped-up Civic racing against more powerful cars. Palm, on the other hand, is a more recent language model that is larger in scale and more capable when dealing with tasks like common-sense reasoning and coding problems.
Pichai suggested that part of the reason for Bard’s limited capabilities was a sense of caution within Google, as they did not want to put out a more capable model before they could fully ensure they could handle it well. He also confirmed that he was talking with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin about the work and that there were probably people in the company who sent emails saying there is a code red.
Pichai also discussed concerns about the development of AI moving too fast and perhaps posing a threat to society. Many in the AI and tech communities have been warning about the dangerous race dynamic currently in play between companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google. Earlier this week, an open letter signed by Elon Musk and top AI researchers called for a six-month pause on the development of these AI systems.
Pichai acknowledged the concerns and suggested that AI is too important an area not to regulate, but it is better to apply regulations in existing industries, like privacy regulations and regulations in healthcare, than create new laws to tackle AI specifically. He also warned that these systems are going to be very capable and suggested that it almost doesn’t matter whether they have reached AGI or not. The focus should be on anticipating and evolving to meet the moment to ensure AI safety.
In conclusion, Pichai promised to upgrade Bard to more capable PaLM models soon to compete with ChatGPT and Bing Chatbot. He acknowledged concerns about the development of AI moving too fast and suggested that AI is too important an area not to regulate. Therefore, it is better to apply regulations in existing industries than create new laws to tackle AI specifically. He also warned about the capabilities of these systems and the need to anticipate and evolve to meet the moment to ensure AI safety.