Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, said in a blog post that Bard will be opened up to “trusted testers” starting Monday, with plans to make it available to the public “in the coming weeks.”
Like ChatGPT, which was released publicly in late November by AI research company OpenAI, Bard is built on a large language model. These models are trained on vast troves of data online in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts.
“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai wrote. “It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.”
The announcement comes as Google’s core product – online search – is widely thought to be facing its most significant risk in years. In the two months since it launched to the public, ChatGPT has been used to generate essays, stories and song lyrics, and to answer some questions one might previously have searched for on Google.
The immense attention on ChatGPT has reportedly prompted Google’s management to declare a “code red” situation for its search business. In a tweet last year, Paul Buchheit, one of the creators of Gmail, forewarned that Google “may be only a year or two away from total disruption” due to the rise of AI.