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Google’s Answer to ChatGPT is Bard, But Will AI Chatbots Pose Cybersecurity Threat, Increase Crimes?


The name ‘ChatGPT’ has been trending all over social media since November and has become the fastest growing consumer application to reach 100 million users. But now Google has confirmed that it is working on its own AI-powered chatbot called ‘Bard’.

Bard is based on Google’s language model LaMDA that will compete against OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It is reported that LaMDA’s responses were so similar to those of humans that it might perhaps be sentient.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced launching of AI chatbot Bard in a blog post on February 6. He described this tool as an “experimental conversational AI service” that will answer users’ queries and take part in conversations.

Additionally, it was stated that a select group of “trusted testers” will have access to the programme before it was made available to the public in the coming weeks.

‘Technology Can Be a Useful Servant’

ChatGPT is by far considered as the best AI chatbot, which, in a span of few months, has become a worldwide phenomenon, with some experts saying the idea was to create an AI on a par with human intelligence or maybe more than that.

While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has recently praised AI chatbots stating how it can help an Indian farmer access a government programme, some experts are concerned about the impact of such technology.

Professor V Ramgopal Rao, former director of IIT Delhi, has called the phenomenon “staying relevant in the post-ChatGPT era”. In a note to his students, Rao said “technology can be a useful servant but a dangerous master”.

However, considering Google’s dominance in the tech market, Bard may overshadow ChatGPT popularity even after Microsoft’s billion-dollar investment in OpenAI.

Here it should be noted that despite having extensive knowledge of the type of AI that underpins ChatGPT, Google has thus far been more careful about making its tools available to the general public.

Why AI Chatbots Can Be a Concern

While ChatGPT has become popular with masses intrigued by the technology, experts have drawn attention towards toxicity and illegal activities, which can increase due to AI chatbots.

A research reports by cyber security provider Check Point has revealed that they noticed attempts by Russian cybercriminals to bypass OpenAI’s restrictions in order to use ChatGPT for malicious purposes, while another research mentioned how hackers are potentially using ChatGPT and Codex to execute targeted and efficient cyberattacks.

Meanwhile, another report said an individual interacted with ChatGPT regarding drug smuggling in Europe and received information from the inputs given by the chatbot.

However, experts earlier highlighted that LaMDA and GPT-3.5, which runs ChatGPT, have a well-documented propensity to spread harmful content, such as hate speech, and to confidently make up misinformation.

While the creators of ChatGPT acknowledge that it has flaws and the algorithm frequently gives plausible-sounding but inaccurate or illogical answers, Google apparently is trying to change the approach.

Pichai said in the blog post that Google would “combine external feedback with our own internal testing” to ensure Bard’s responses meet a high standard for quality, safety, and grounding in real-world information. But it is possible that the system would make mistakes, some of which may be serious.

He also said: “Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills.”

Additionally, Bard apparently has the ability to respond to inquiries regarding recent events, something ChatGPT struggles with, by using information from the web to produce new, high-quality answers.

Even though there are concerns related to the usage of ChatGPT in illegal activities, there is no doubt that people are thrilled by this tool and its massive popularity might have also triggered Google to make the initial announcement at this moment.

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