Google's Workspace AI features are cool but where is Bard
Generative AI is the rage right now, and Google can't afford to be left behind. The tech giant has introduced AI-backed features for its Workspace suite, which comprises Gmail, Chat, Docs, Meet, Slides, and Sheets. AI in Workspace is undoubtedly something, but it is no substitute for a powerful chatbot. That brings us to the question, where is Bard, Google's ChatGPT-rival?
Why does this story matter?
- Google has lost ground in the AI race to OpenAI. The Microsoft-backed company's gamble to release ChatGPT paid off handsomely, making it the frontrunner in the race.
- Google's attempt at making the race a close one using Bard did not go as planned, and now the chatbot is in hiding.
- Meanwhile, the Microsoft-OpenAI tandem is improving its distance from the rest of the pack.
Bard's rushed release raised more questions than answers
Google's rushed attempt to challenge ChatGPT with Bard was criticized by many as "rushed" and "botched." What was meant to be an answer to ChatGPT raised many questions about Google's preparedness and credibility regarding AI. The company did what anyone reasonable would do - it decided to work on improving Bard. However, the landscape has changed now.
Bard has a new rival in GPT-4
When Google introduced Bard, its competition was a fairly powerful ChatGPT. Now, there is a new face in the picture, and it is much better than GPT-3.5-powered ChatGPT. The new player is GPT-4, OpenAI's next-generartion LLM behind Microsoft's new Bing. It has certainly made Bing more relevant than it has ever been. In fact, GPT-4's capability is changing the world faster than you know.
Can Google challenge the Microsoft-OpenAI duo in the short term?
The introduction of GPT-4 has made things difficult for Bard. Google was previously competing against GPT-3.5. Now it has to take GPT-4 into consideration. It is plausible to expect Bard to make a thumping return during Google's I/O 2023 in May. The question is, will the Microsoft-OpenAI partnership gain an unassailable short-term lead in the AI race by then?
Introduction of generative AI in Workspace is a statement
The introduction of generative AI in Workspace can be seen as Google's way of saying it is not ready to back off. The fact it happened only days ahead of Microsoft's 'Future of Work' event is a statement in itself. However, Google is probably in an AI race with itself. Only AI writing tools in Docs and Gmail will be available initially.
Google announced AI tools for Docs, Gmail, Slides, Sheets
Google has announced a raft of AI-powered features. This includes writing emails for users in Gmail, helping them write or rewrite documents in Docs, auto-generating images, audio, and video in Slides, formula generation in Sheets, or capturing notes in Meet. Microsoft is set to announce similar features for its Office suite of apps later this week on March 16.
What about the availability of Google's new features?
Though the AI-powered writing features are coming to the entire Google Workspace suite, they will first be seen on the Docs and Gmail applications. The US-based company claims that the "new generative AI experiences" will be rolled out to "trusted testers" throughout this year. However, in typical Google style, we don't know when these AI features will be available for public use.