Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is expanding the reach of its artificial intelligence chatbot called Bard. Following its initial launch in the United States and the United Kingdom in March, Bard is now being rolled out in Europe and Brazil, marking its largest expansion to date. This move intensifies the competition with Microsoft’s ChatGPT, as both chatbots employ generative AI to respond to questions in a manner resembling a human conversation.
However, Bard’s launch in the European Union faced delays due to privacy concerns raised by the Irish Data Protection Commission, the main data regulator in the bloc. The commission expressed reservations about the lack of information provided by Google regarding how Bard safeguards the privacy of European users. To address these concerns, Google engaged with watchdogs to provide reassurances on issues such as transparency, choice, and control. Additionally, users are given the option to opt out of data collection.
Amar Subramanya, the engineering vice president of Bard, emphasized that the chatbot is an experiment and stated that Google aims to be bold and responsible. While he refrained from commenting on the development of a Bard app, Google has introduced new features to the chatbot that are available globally. These features include the capability for Bard to vocalize its responses and respond to prompts that include images. Moreover, Bard now supports collaboration in over 40 languages, enabling users to change the tone and style of their responses and engage in various types of interactions.
The potential of generative AI has generated significant excitement, but it has also prompted concerns among global tech figures. Some individuals argue that AI could lead to humanity’s downfall, while others believe it has the potential to address challenges like climate change. In recent months, companies have invested billions in the development of AI models with the aim of generating substantial revenue from advertising and cloud services. Mistral AI, a one-month-old start-up, secured £86 million in seed funding to build and train large language models. Elon Musk, a prominent figure in the tech