With the new year, it seems things are now going in a new direction as a report by The New York Times claims that Google plans to “demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features this year” and uncover over 20 AI-powered projects.
There’s no specific timeframe mentioned for the launch but a few projects may be presented at this year’s I/O event in May. The report also mentioned that Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai invited company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to ‘offer advice’ to company leaders and approve plans around ChatGPT last month. Google’s AI is similar and, at the same time, different from ChatGPT in some aspects.
Similarities between Google’s Sparrow and OpenAI’s ChatGPT
In their paper, Alphabet-owned DeepMind Technologies define Sparrow as a dialogue agent “that’s useful and reduces the risk of unsafe and inappropriate answers. Our agent is designed to talk with a user, answer questions, and search the internet using Google when it’s helpful to look up evidence to inform its responses.”
Similarly, OpenAI says that it trained ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. “The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
OpenAI says that one of the limitations of ChatGPT is that it “sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” The Microsoft-backed company also lists various other limitations.
Now, we don’t know about the limitations of Sparrow because Google hasn’t talked about it much but it did say that “Sparrow also has room for improving its rule-following.” DeepMind notes that “Sparrow isn’t immune to making mistakes, like hallucinating facts and giving answers that are off-topic sometimes.”
Google’s Sparrow vs OpenAI’s ChatGPT
The biggest difference between these is the training data. Google’s AI chatbot is expected to be up to date with data. The company wants its chatbot to prioritise “getting facts right, ensuring safety and getting rid of misinformation. ChatGPT’s knowledge is limited to 2021 data.
Secondly, Google wants its AI to converse in multiple languages. DeepMind wrote in their research paper that “further work is needed to ensure similar results [received in English language] across other languages and cultural contexts.” It is apparent because Google has intertwined AI technology in its products and services over the last few years.
Both companies say that they are working on removing limitations from these AI models. What’s apparent is that early AI technologies will be incorporated in services that are commonly used by masses.
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