Alphabet’s Google on Wednesday unveiled an updated core search product that integrates more AI into its answers, as the company looks to dispel doubts it’s losing ground to Microsoft’s OpenAI-powered Bing search.
Google already has a Bard chatbot that competes with OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, which has caused a lot of user excitement with its human-like responses.
So when do you google and when do you google bard?
The company says traditional Google search should still be used to find and search for information, such as making a purchase.
Bard is a chatbot with a persona capable of human-like conversations and intended for creative collaboration, such as generating software code or writing a caption for a photo.
What’s new in Google Search?
With advanced search dubbed the Search Generative Experience, Google’s home page still looks and behaves like the familiar search bar.
The difference is in the responses: when the new Google recognizes that generative AI can be used to answer a query, the response generated by the AI is displayed at the top of the results page. The traditional links to the web remain below.
For example, a search for “San Francisco weather” leads a user to an eight-day forecast as usual, while a query about what outfit to wear in the California city triggers a long AI-generated response, as in a demonstration for Reuters issued earlier this week.
“You should bring layers, including a short-sleeved shirt and a light sweater or jacket for the day,” read the result, including links to sites collecting such advice.
Users can also switch to a brand new “conversation mode” which, similar to Bard and ChatGPT, remembers the user’s previous questions, making it easier for users to ask follow-up questions.
However, the company points out that the conversation mode is not designed as a chatbot with personality; It is only used to refine the search results. For example, unlike Bard and ChatGPT, his replies never include the phrase “I”.
Can I try the new Google search now?
Not yet. US consumers will be able to access the Search Generative Experience via a waitlist in the coming weeks. This is a testing phase in which Google monitors the quality, speed and cost of search results, the company says.
Can I try Bard now?
The company said Wednesday that Bard is now available in 180 countries and territories with no waitlist and plans to expand its support to 40 languages.
© Thomson Reuters 2023