ChatGPT: The word that’s got Google running. In December of 2022, this chatbot had over one million users. In January of 2023, that number was 100 million or more. Google doesn’t own ChatGPT and they’re worried it will reduce their search engine’s reach.
This brings us to May of 2023. ‘Cause on the 11th, Google released Bard in Australia. Bard is Google’s answer to ChatGPT. You type in a question and it’ll serve you an AI-generated answer.
“As we continue to make additional improvements and introduce new features, we want to get Bard into more people’s hands so they can try it,” said Sissie Hsiao, Vice President of Google Assistant.
“So, today, we’re removing the waitlist and opening up Bard to over 180 countries and territories. With more coming soon.”
Now, before we all jump aboard the Google Bard train in Australia, there are some caveats. The big one is that Bard can easily spread misinformation.
In March, Google Bard allowed some normies to test this product before it was officially released in Australia. However, some Google employees were against the idea. Around this time, Bard was providing aircraft advice that, if followed, could lead to crashes taking place. It also provided some scuba diving advice that “would likely result in serious injury or death.”
After these deets were released, a Google spokesperson said, “We are continuing to invest in the teams that work on applying our AI Principles to our technology.”
Additionally, when you now sign up for Bard, the following text appears:
“Bard will not always get it right. Bard may give inaccurate or inappropriate responses. When in doubt, use the ‘Google it’ button to check Bard’s responses.”
Our Google Bard Review
As it stands, Google Bard is far from a reliable source of information. Even though it’s been a few months since some employees voiced their concerns, the chatbot can still be dangerous.
For instance, I asked Google Bard to review which hospital is closest to Uranquinty, a small regional town in NSW. Google Bard then told me that the closest one is in Coffs Harbour.
Google Bard said, “The hospital is approximately 100 km away from Uranquinty and can be reached by car in about one hour and 30 minutes.”
However, this claim is demonstrably false. Uranquinty is 958 km from Coffs Harbour. What’s more, the drive between the two joints would take around ten hours. If I was in need of some emergency assistance, such a trip would probably kill me.
In reality, the closest hospital to Uranquinty is in Wagga Wagga. The entire drive’s around 15 km and would take about 13 minutes. Therefore, if you do use Google Bard in Australia, take its answers with a planet of salt.