Google Bard launches ‘Experiment updates’ — here’s all the new features

A picture of Google Bard running on a smartphone
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google Bard has been around for a few weeks now and we’re still trying to figure out how it separates itself from ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing with ChatGPT. It looks like Google is too, as we’ve seen rumors that Bard could start invading your text messages, be integrated into Search and maybe even screen your calls one day.

Now though, we should start to get a clearer picture as to how Google is changing Bard as it goes along. Google has unveiled “Experiment updates” a page in the Google Bard user interface that highlights what recent changes have come to Google’s chatbot. At the moment, the changes are sparse, but there are a few headlines from Bard’s first update.

Experiment update 2023.04.10: What’s coming to Bard

Some of the updates we already knew were coming. In the subheading “Updates to Bard’s capabilities,” Google says that they’ve made Bard smarter, with upgraded math and logic processing capabilities. 

This upgrade was tipped a week ago and comes from Google integrating its more powerful PaLM (Pathways Language Model) model with the LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) model that currently powers Bard. Google says the reason behind this change is that Bard seems to be struggling with math and logic prompts, and a more logical AI model will certainly be required if Bard wants to compete with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

The other big change is that Google is upgrading Bard’s “Google it” feature. When you give Bard a prompt, it returns with an answer, but it will also give you the option to Google it if you want to see a possible Google Search query related to the topic. 

Google Bard

(Image credit: Future)

Now, clicking this Google it button will provide several search terms that you can click to continue down your rabbit hole on Google Search rather than directly in Bard. In theory, this should direct you more accurately to your desired information, but it could also have the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of “AI hallucinations” (when chatbots go off-script) as users could terminate Bard chats quicker with more relevant Search options available to peruse.

Frankly, the most interesting thing about these Experiment updates is the use of the word “Experiment.” Google has been keen to highlight that Bard gets things wrong and is far from a polished product. This is in no small part due to the $100 billion mistake Bard made at its debut and Bing with ChatGPT going off the deep end and spooking potential AI users. Doubling down on this experiment label could allow Google to shrug off future Bard snafus.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.