We Tried Google’s Bard AI: 3 Things We Learned About the New AI Chatbot

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Apr 03 2023

In a few short months, we’ve watched Open AI’s ChatGPT go from marketers’ favorite party trick to a real resource for generating creative content topics and ideas. As a team of content strategists and creators, we’re fascinated by the idea of harnessing the power of AI to take busywork off our plates so we can spend more time empathetically and creatively supporting our clients. This week, we couldn’t click fast enough when we received an email inviting us to try Bard—Google’s response to ChatGPT. 


Here’s what we learned after one week of working alongside the conversational AI.   


1. Bard’s name goes way back.  

First things first—why Bard? The name is said to be a nod to “The Bard” himself, William Shakespeare. To confirm, we asked the Google AI “Why are you called Bard?” and received this response:


“The name Bard is inspired by the Celtic tradition of bards, who were professional storytellers, verse-makers, music composers, oral historians, and genealogists, employed by a patron to praise them or their ancestors. Bards were highly skilled in the use of language and music, and they played an important role in the transmission of culture and history.” 


The name is fitting for an AI trained to generate human-like responses to questions and prompts. But does it work?  


2. Bard is a Google search—without the noise. 

Inspired by a recent article on how AIs are tackling common executive assistant tasks, we started with the basics: Could Bard help find the lowest airfare for a flight between Syracuse, NY, and Chicago, IL?  


Yes, indeed. Bard recommended a great price—which was also the top result when we searched Google for the same information. The benefit: Bard got straight to a price without making us tinker with a fare calculator or scroll past a list of search ads.  


When we asked Bard to provide briefs on notable people—information that could help with meeting prep, per se—Bard returned results only for individuals who had Wikipedia pages. The more well-known the person and specific the search (e.g., Give me a summary of Barack Obama’s career highlights), the more nuanced Bard’s response. 


Like ChatGPT, Bard can quickly spit out ideas on a given topic. When we asked Bard to generate a list of blog post ideas about renewable energy, the suggestions were generic—the benefits, the future, and the challenges of wind turbines, for example. These ideas are a starting point, but nothing blew us away.  


Finally, we told Bard to write an executive summary based on the last presentation we put together. Bard delivered work that we’d give a B. It made sense, was structurally sound, and was factually accurate. But it was repetitive and missed the “why it matters” details our summary had included.


3. Bard has a decisive advantage over ChatGPT.

Both Bard and ChatGPT were trained on massive datasets of text, including Wikipedia, books, articles, documents, and other content available on the internet. However, ChatGPT’s sources only go up to 2021. This limits the chatbot’s ability to synthesize information about newsworthy events and fold in the latest research.  


On the other hand, Bard searches the internet in real-time. When we asked Google’s AI to give us a recap of baseball’s Opening Day, held on March 30, we received a succinct recap of scores, highlights, and players to watch this season. The response was a homerun.  


Similarly, when we asked Bard to summarize the day’s top political news story, we received a pointed rundown of an event that took place earlier that day plus pertinent backstory.  


We’re confident Google’s experiment will improve as more and more users receive invites to give Bard a shot. Plus, Google’s budding AI has plenty of friendly competition to encourage it along the way, with Open AI, Bing, and even Snapchat continuing to improve their AIs daily. For now, we’ll call on Bard when we’re crunched for time and need to do 20 minutes of Googling in 2.   


Could incorporating AI make your marketing workflows more efficient? We can help you determine if and where a chatbot fits into the picture. Let’s connect! 


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Hollis Templeton
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