Because of security and reputational risks, Google has been slower than its competitors to launch AI-powered products. But fierce competition from competitors Microsoft, OpenAI and others left no choice but to get started, says Chirag Shah, a computer science professor at the University of Washington.
It’s a high-risk strategy, given that AI language models have numerous flaws with no known fixes. Incorporating them into its products could backfire and run afoul of increasingly aggressive regulators, experts warn.
Google is also opening access to its competitor ChatGPT, Bard, from a select group in the US and UK to the general public in over 180 countries. Bard will « soon » allow people to request it using images and words, Google said, and the chatbot will be able to answer questions with images. Google is also rolling out AI tools that allow people to generate and debug code.
Google has been using AI technology in products like text translation and speech recognition for years. But this is the company’s biggest push to integrate the latest wave of AI technology into a variety of products.
“[AI language models’] skills are improving. We’re finding more and more places where we can integrate them into our existing products, and we’re also finding real opportunities to deliver value to people in a bold but responsible way,” Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of Google DeepMind Technology Review, told MIT.
“This moment for Google is really a moment where we’re seeing the power of putting AI in people’s hands,” he says.
The hope, says Ghahramani, is that people will get so used to these tools that they become an insignificant part of daily life.
Google’s announcement comes as rivals like Microsoft, OpenAI and Meta and open source groups like Stability.AI compete to launch stunning AI tools that can summarize text, respond fluidly to people’s questions, and even produce images and word prompt video.