Google Bard seen on the Google blog with the Google logo on mobile. On February 6, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.
Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Shares of Google’s parent company Alphabet fell more than 8% on Wednesday after the company held an event to promote its new artificial intelligence chatbot called Bard, a day after competitor Microsoft held its own event to show off new AI technologies in its competing search engine, Bing.
Google officially announced Bard on Monday, confirming earlier CNBC reports, and the company said it will begin rolling out the technology in the coming weeks.
At Wednesday’s event, which was broadcast live from Paris, Google executives discussed some of Bard’s capabilities. The presentation showed how Bard can be used to display the pros and cons of buying an electric car, for example, or planning a trip to Northern California.
Bard is powered by the company’s big language model, LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialog Applications. Google will open up the chat technology to “trust testers” before making it more widely available to the public, the company said in a statement. blog post Monday.
Alphabet shares fell during the event, suggesting investors were hoping for more in light of growing competition from Microsoft.
Google’s event took place just a day after Microsoft hosted its own AI event at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft’s event centered around new AI-powered updates to the company’s Bing search engine and Edge browser. Bing, which is a distant second to Google in Search, will now allow users to get more conversational answers to questions.
Microsoft product updates have been built on technology from OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, in which Microsoft has invested billions.
ChatGPT is an AI software that generates text based on complex written prompts. The web tool went viral after its debut in November, prompting analysts and Google employees to wonder if the company was falling behind in AI, an area that has been at the heart of Google’s concerns for several years. . In response to ChatGPT’s popularity, Google declared an internal “code red” to speed development of Bard and other AI products, and company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin would have got involved again, years after leaving the day-to-day work of the company.
Although Microsoft’s latest investments in AI are increasing pressure on Google Search, some analysts say it will take time for Microsoft to see significant gains.
“The search improvements will act as a tailwind for (long-term ad revenue), but it will take time to bring users back to Bing and they will need a crowbar to steer advertisers away from Google,” wrote Jefferies analyst Brent Thill in a Tuesday. note. “We view these updates as the tip of the iceberg for MSFT’s AI capabilities, with the greatest opportunity in enterprise use cases.”
A UBS analyst said if Microsoft hopes to overtake Google, it has a “mountain to climb”.
— CNBC’s Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.