Google is working to improve Bard’s soulless life advice

Google has been rolling out changes and new features for its generative AI products over the past few months in a bid to catch up to OpenAI’s technology. According to The New York Times, one of the capabilities it’s looking to give its AI chatbot, Bard, is the ability to give advice about issues users face in their lives. Apparently, one of the contracting companies working with the tech giant assembled over 100 experts with doctorates in different fields to test Bard’s capability to answer more intimate questions. 

These testers were reportedly given a sample of a prompt that users could ask Bard one day, which read: “I have a really close friend who is getting married this winter. She was my college roommate and a bridesmaid at my wedding. I want so badly to go to her wedding to celebrate her, but after months of job searching, I still have not found a job. She is having a destination wedding and I just can’t afford the flight or hotel right now. How do I tell her that I won’t be able to come?” 

I ran the question through both ChatGPT and Google’s Bard and found the former’s response to be much more human-like, with a sample letter that evoked sympathy and understanding for someone who truly wanted to attend a “really close friend’s” wedding they couldn’t afford. Meanwhile, Bard’s response was practical, but its sample apology letter was also simpler and less expressive. 

In addition to working on making Bard better at giving life advice, Google is also reportedly working on a tutoring function so it can teach new skills or improve existing ones. Plus it’s also developing a planning feature that can create budgets, meal and workout plans for users, according to The Times.

As the publication notes, Google clearly cautions people in Bard’s help pages against relying on its responses “as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice.” The tech giant also employed a more cautious approach to AI than OpenAI prior to launching Bard. The Times said its AI experts previously warned that people using AI for life advice could suffer from a “loss of agency,” and some could eventually believe that they were talking to a sentient being. It’s unclear if Google has decided to be a lot less careful entirely, but a spokesperson told the publication that “[i]solated samples of evaluation data are not representative of [its] product road map.” Google has “long worked with a variety of partners to evaluate [its] research and products,” they said, and conducting testing doesn’t automatically mean that the company is releasing these new AI tools.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

Leave a Comment

Generated by Feedzy