Google’s experimental conversational AI, Bard, didn’t have a seamless launch. The astronomical buzz around Open AI’s ChatGPT undoubtedly created a sense of urgency at Google to get its alternative out the door. However, the promotional video for Bard contained misinformation that was quickly and easily disproven.
Consumers and stakeholders were unimpressed, and the gaff caused a $100 billion loss in market value for Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.
First impressions aside, content marketers need to stay in the know about how Google Bard impacts human writers – and how might it be used in marketing and SEO in the near future.
In this article, you’ll learn what Google Bard is, how it works, how it differs from other conversational AIs (particularly ChatGPT), and what Bard means for the future of content marketing.
What is Google Bard?
Google Bard is the search giant’s experimental conversational artificial intelligence service, powered by its large language model LaMDA and connected to the live web.
Bard is an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA. Built using our large language ****** and drawing on information from the web, it’s a launchpad for curiosity and can help simplify complex topics → https://t.co/fSp531xKy3 pic.twitter.com/JecHXVmt8l
— Google (@Google) February 6, 2023
Google Bard incorporates Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning. By understanding user queries in conversational language, Google Bard can generate unique and usually accurate results. It can assist users by answering questions using information pulled from the web.
It’s important to note that Bard is not a search engine, nor is it intended to replace Google Search. It is a feature that can improve the Search experience. CNBC reported on an all-hands meeting at Google in early March, where employees questioned the connection between Bard and Search.
Jack Krawczyk, the product lead for Bard, said, “I just want to be very clear: Bard is not search. It’s an experiment that’s a collaborative AI service that we talked about. The magic we’re finding in using the product is really around being this creative companion to helping you be the sparkplug for imagination, explore your curiosity, etc.”
Google has incorporated other large language ****** into Search, including BERT and MUM.
When first released in February 2023, Bard ran on a lightweight version of LaMDA, which Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said, “requires significantly less computing power, enabling us to scale to more users, allowing for more feedback.” Bard is clearly in an experimental phase, and Google wishes to use its massive user and knowledge base to improve this product.
For security’s sake, Bard is only available to people over 18, and you need a Google account. Bard is available only in US English, but Google promises it’s working on other languages.
Google Bard vs. ChatGPT
The biggest difference between Google Bard and ChatGPT is that Bard has access to all of the current information on the web, while ChatGPT trained on a dataset up to a certain point in 2021.
Bard tells you right away that it makes mistakes. A message at the top of the page states, “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.” By putting this message first, it doesn’t lull users into a false sense of reality that this application alone can produce unlimited accurate data.
OpenAI’s ‘What is ChatGPT?’ resource says, “ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers. It has limited knowledge of world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.”
ChatGPT is excellent for developing various types of writing, while Bard is specifically designed for natural language searches. Bard’s AI is trained to understand conversational queries and provide relevant context in its responses. It even helps with follow-up questions.
Bard is more cautious than ChatGPT. Eli Collins, Google’s vice president of research, told The New York Times that the bot often refused to answer about specific people because it might generate incorrect information about them — a phenomenon that AI researchers call “hallucination.”
Mr. Collins said Google Bard also avoids providing medical, legal, or financial advice because it could lead to incorrect information. This aligns with Google’s enhanced quality checks for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) content.
Google Bard considerations for content marketers
Google Bard can generate ideas for your content strategy. It can answer questions with facts or opinions. Bard generates new text every time you type in a prompt. It may even answer the same question in several different ways. But it alone can not produce unique content for brands that don’t interfere with Google’s policies on AI use.
Here’s what Google says Bard can do:
“You can use Bard to help move your ideas forward. With a little help from Bard, you can do things like:
- Brainstorm ideas, develop a plan, or find different ways to get things done
- Get a quick, easy-to-understand summary of more complex topics
- Create first drafts of outlines, emails, blog posts, poems, and much more.”
With this information, Google clearly defines how content marketers can use Bard. But letting the chatbot take over your content creation is not ideal. For example, it can be marked as spam, according to Google, as content marketers can’t use AI-generated content alone and share it online.
Content marketers still need to fact-check, watch for bias, and carefully edit and tailor content for their unique audience. They must use these tools carefully and remember they don’t replace human intelligence or perspective. Brands and marketers alike still need a robust editorial process with quality checks in place before publishing.
Google Bard in practice example
Content marketers can also use Google Bard to explore and better understand the associations between topics and concepts. For example, Google’s head of search Prabhakar Raghavan shared a few examples of how Bard could be used.
“Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car, one that’s a good fit for your family,” Raghavan said. “Bard can help you think through different angles to consider from budget to safety and more, and simplify and make sense of them.” Bard could generate a list of electric car pros and cons, for example.
This is a great opportunity for content marketers to investigate what new search results and follow-up that might generate for their audience. In Raghavan’s electric cars example, Bard generated several “pros” of electric cars. These include:
- “Electric cars produce zero emissions when driving, which is better than a gas-powered car for the environment. Gas cars produce emissions that contribute to climate change.”
- “They are generally cheaper to operate.”
- “They don’t require oil changes or tune-ups and they have fewer moving parts, so there’s less that can go wrong.”
This gives astute content writers several topics to investigate further with keyword research and other SEO and content planning tools. It can also help marketers identify pain points and common questions searchers may have to ensure they have pieces of content to meet those needs on the website.
Google’s take on “responsible AI”
Google is committed to developing AI responsibly and for the benefit of all. The company has a clear set of principles that govern its approach to AI, which emphasizes uniqueness, transparency, and accuracy while respecting user privacy.
Google’s take on responsible AI also includes initiatives such as the People + AI Research (PAIR) initiative, which focuses on understanding how humans interact with machines and ensuring that technology is designed to benefit everyone.
This commitment extends beyond just products and services, including research projects and an open-source framework for developers and data scientists that allows anyone to build ethical AI applications.
Google aims to mitigate risk and harness AI’s power to advance research and help people. They understand there are privacy concerns regarding AI technology integration and Google focuses on addressing that.
Google has advanced its practices by conducting industry-leading research on risk management and AI’s overall impact. In addition, they assess proposals for new AI research and applications to ensure alignment with their principles.
Additionally, Google has published almost 200 papers to adopt and expand on industry norms. They consistently reexamine methods to build accountability and safety into their work and regularly post their progress.
By taking these steps, Google shows its dedication to creating technologies that will positively impact society and help us move toward a better future.
Keep these points in mind as you brainstorm and plan ways to use Google Bard in your content research and planning processes:
- By leveraging natural language processing, Google Bard can understand conversational language and deliver more relevant results. This provides an enhanced user experience that benefits businesses and consumers alike.
- Google understands it has a responsibility to provide safety measures and continue researching its AI technology to ensure it’s secure and accurate for users.
- Google Bard is not a replacement for human writers and the editorial process required to produce high-quality content. Google prefers that marketers utilize Bard for research, content ideas, and drafts, not final content.
- Bard can help content creators anticipate consumer needs, generate FAQs, understand the customer journey through a topic, and identify new content opportunities.
- Creating relevant, informative, and useful content is the ultimate goal to provide the best customer experience possible.