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Artificial Intelligence introducing... Bard

In this next edition of the introducing businesses and freelancers to new Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, this week we’re delving into Google’s large language model (LLM), Bard.

What is Bard?

Good question, let’s ask.

“Bard AI is a large language model chatbot developed by Google AI. It is trained on a massive dataset of text and code and can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way. Bard is still under development, but it has learned to perform many kinds of tasks.” Essentially Bard does what Chat GPT-4 does, but it looks different – it looks like a Google sheet or document in style and layout – not surprising, really.

How does it work?

Bard is easy to use. Search for Bard online and click on it. Once logged in, start a new chat and type in a prompt. As with Chat GPT-4, the knack is to prompt it with a phrase, question or statement that gives it clear enough instructions and specific details to create the draft you can work with. I’ve been surprised by how the same prompt between different AI tools can result in completely different responses, in different styles and length.

Bard works in a similar way to Chat GPT-4 and all other LLMs (large language models). These are basically ginormous data sets which guess/predict what words and phrases are most likely to be used. Bard, just like all other LLMs is not thinking. It’s programmed with a vast amount of information and predicts what the outcome will be.

Part of Bard’s response to my prompt, ‘how does Bard work?’ was, “When you ask Bard AI a question, it first uses natural language processing to understand the meaning of your question. Then, it uses its knowledge of the world and its understanding of language to generate a response. The response is generated by a process called machine learning. Machine learning is a field of computer science that deals with the development of algorithms that can learn from data.”

Is Bard reliable?

Bard is still an experiment. When you open a new chat, this statement is the first thing you’ll see, “I’m Bard, your creative and helpful collaborator. I have limitations and won’t always get it right, but your feedback will help me improve.”

When can businesses benefit from adopting AI tools like Bard:

Bard is a great collaborator; it looks and feels like all Google docs do. This makes an easy-to-use tool almost comfortable in its familiarity in how it looks and how I navigate around it. As with Chat GPT-4, as a writer or marketer, Bard is a great way to make first drafts, start research and start creating a structure to new work. As project managers or professionals needing to write reports or things like strategy documents Bard, like other AI tools, helps to free up valuable time to focus on other activities or, in a time-pressured environment, deliver results quicker.

Who can use Bard?

Short answer: Everyone.

I’m a writer by trade, and I do use Bard. It’s easy and simple to use, and because it looks like all Google docs it’s familiar to navigate around.

Is Bard free?

Yes, just sign in with your Google account and get started.

Pros of Bard:

  • Accurate and informative: Bard is trained on a massive dataset of text and code, so it can provide accurate and informative answers to your questions.

  • Creative and engaging: Bard can generate creative text formats, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, emails, letters, etc. It can also be used to translate languages and answer your questions in an informative way, even if they are open-ended, challenging, or strange.

  • Easy to use: Bard is easy to use and can be accessed through a web browser or a mobile app.

  • Free to use: Bard is free to use, so you can save money on hiring a human assistant.

  • Always learning: Bard is constantly learning and improving, so it will only get better over time.

Cons of Bard:

  • Not always perfect: Bard is still under development, so it can sometimes make mistakes.

  • Can be biased: Bard is trained on a dataset of text and code that may be biased, so it is important to be aware of this when using Bard.

  • Not always reliable: Bard may not always be reliable, especially when it is asked to answer questions that are outside of its knowledge base.

  • Can be slow: Bard can be slow to respond, especially when it is asked to perform complex tasks.

  • Not always private: Bard's responses are stored on Google's servers, so it is important to be aware of your privacy settings when using Bard. Don’t forget that Chat GPT-4 was last updated in September 2021, so it doesn’t have more recent information in it.

So, let’s have Bard wrap up…

Overall, Bard is a powerful tool that can help businesses to improve their operations in a number of ways. By automating tasks, analysing data, and providing insights, Bard can help businesses to save time, money, and improve customer satisfaction.

In addition to the specific examples listed above, Bard can also be used for a variety of other tasks, such as:

  • Writing creative content, such as blog posts, articles, and marketing materials.

  • Translating languages.

  • Answering questions about a wide range of topics.

  • Generating code.

  • Creating presentations.

As Bard continues to develop, it is likely that it will be able to do even more to help businesses. For example, Bard could be used to develop new products and services, optimise pricing, and even manage supply chains. The possibilities are endless.

Final thoughts… I use Bard, and I have freelancer friends who prefer it to other tools like Chat GPT-4. Because all LLMs essentially do the same thing and have been designed to be easy-to-use, adopting your preferred AI writing tool comes down to personal preference, or your companies preferred technical systems.

On a slightly different note, Bard’s functionality to listen back to the answer from the prompt which, depending on the way you take in information, is a nifty tool. And it now retains the old chats so you can go back into them after you’ve closed them, which is handy when you’re busy and need to hop onto another task. My preferred way of working is to use two or three AI writing tools and prompt them with the same content so I can pick and choose from the mix of responses. I use Bard in this mix.

Alcea Consulting Limited is a boutique consultancy helping businesses find the right words and tools to connect their teams and customers. Find out how Alcea can support your teams and business today.

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