Google parent Alphabet is planning to launch a chatbot service and more artificial intelligence for its search engine as well as developers, making a riposte to Microsoft in a rivalry to lead a new wave of technology.
In a blog post on Monday, Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the company is opening a conversational AI service called Bard to test users for feedback, followed by a public release in the coming weeks.
Powering Bard is LaMDA, Google’s AI that can generate prose so human-like that a company engineer last year called it sentient, a claim the technology giant and scientists widely dismissed.
The news follows recent statements by Microsoft that it aims to imbue AI into all its products as well as widen availability of ChatGPT, the chatbot sensation from a startup known as OpenAI that it is backing.
Google also plans to add AI-powered features to its search engine that synthesize information to answer complex queries, like whether a guitar or the piano is easier to learn to play, Pichai said. And Google will give tools, first powered by LaMDA and later by other AI technology, to web developers, creators and enterprises starting next month, he said.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif.; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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