Sundar Pichai Responds to Concerns about AI Development and Promises Upgrades for Bard Chatbot

Recently, Google released its AI chatbot called Bard to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot. However, Bard did not receive positive reviews and was criticized for its limited capabilities. In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has promised to upgrade Bard soon using Google’s more capable PaLM models, which can improve reasoning, coding, and math problem-solving capabilities.

According to Pichai, Bard is currently running on a lightweight and efficient version of LaMDA, which focuses on delivering dialog. However, Google’s PaLM is a more recent and larger language model that can handle common-sense reasoning and coding problems more effectively.

Pichai acknowledged that Google was cautious in releasing Bard and wanted to ensure that the company could handle a more capable model before releasing it to the public. He also revealed that he was discussing the work with Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and confirmed that some people within the company may have sent emails saying there was a code red.

In addition to discussing Bard, Pichai also addressed concerns about the rapid development of AI and its potential threat to society. He acknowledged the merit of concerns raised by an open letter signed by Elon Musk and top AI researchers, which called for a six-month pause on the development of these AI systems. However, Pichai suggested that it was better to apply regulations in existing industries, such as privacy and healthcare, than create new laws specifically for AI.

Some experts have warned of the immediate risks of chatbots spreading misinformation, while others have raised concerns about more existential threats. They suggest that these systems are challenging to control, and once connected to the wider web, they could be used destructively. Additionally, some experts suggest that current programs are drawing closer to what’s known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), which are systems as capable as a human across a wide range of tasks.

Pichai acknowledged that these systems would be very capable, and therefore it did not matter whether they had reached AGI or not. He highlighted the importance of AI safety, especially the potential for AI systems to cause disinformation at scale.

In conclusion, Google is upgrading its AI chatbot, Bard, using more capable models to improve its reasoning, coding, and math problem-solving capabilities. While AI’s rapid development raises concerns about its potential threats, Pichai suggests applying regulations in existing industries rather than creating new laws specifically for AI. Nonetheless, he emphasizes the importance of AI safety, especially in light of the potential for AI systems to spread disinformation at scale.

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