Google to fight ChatGPT with Apprentice Bard AI — this could change search forever

ChatGPT chatbot AI from Open AI
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google’s response to the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT has been swift. Earlier this week they revealed MusicLM, an AI tool that can generate music of any genre from text prompts and now they could be working on a new chatbot and an AI-driven approach to Google search.

Reports from CNBC (opens in new tab) detail how Google is testing a new chatbot titled “Apprentice Bard” that works similarly to ChatGPT, with employees able to converse with and ask questions of the AI, much like our own ChatGPT interview

Google’s response to AI  

The potential for AI to disrupt the need for search engines clearly has Google worried and even the creator of Gmail admitted recently that the search giant could be only a year or two away from a major disruption. Rumors of Bing integrating ChatGPT would be cause for concern for Google’s parent company Alphabet. 

To get itself on the front foot, Google has announced it will hold an event in Paris on February 8th, streamed live on YouTube (opens in new tab). The invitation details that viewers can “Tune in to hear how we’re reimagining how people search for, explore and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need.”   

Hopefully, this will provide us with more information on Google’s AI plans and how it plans to augment Google search with the likes of Apprentice Bard.

What are the differences between ChatGPT and Apprentice Bard? 

Where the two AI rivals differ is the AI model used by the chat services. ChatGPT uses the Microsoft-developed GPT-3.5  model whereas Google’s effort employs LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Application).

Google has been directly testing its AI against ChatGPT and is impressed with its rival, claiming they would even offer it a job as a level 3 engineer. One internal document even details Google testers asking both AIs whether they will put human programmers out of a job. They both replied that this won’t happen, but that’s exactly what an AI would say, isn’t it? 

On a serious note, although both bots are impressive in their performances, there are some differences between them. Apprentice Bard has access to up-to-date information to use in its conversation while ChatGPT’s own training was halted in 2021. Interestingly, Chat GPT seems to issue more detailed responses when presented with creative tasks such as writing movie scripts, while Google’s effort dealt better with riddles.   

With its huge reputation and with search advertising a key driver of much of Google’s income, it’s crucially important for the company to get this right. It is determined not to release a service that provides incorrect information and is moving conservatively when it comes to allowing public access to its AI but we could see it sometime this year. 

Andy Sansom
Trainee Writer

Andy is Tom’s Guide’s Trainee Writer, which means that he currently writes about pretty much everything we cover. He has previously worked in copywriting and content writing both freelance and for a leading business magazine. His interests include gaming, music and sports- particularly Formula One, football and badminton. Andy’s degree is in Creative Writing and he enjoys writing his own screenplays and submitting them to competitions in an attempt to justify three years of studying.