It seems that news of Google Bard’s AI shortcomings is already having a ripple effect in the company, and the CEO is taking action, according to a new report.
According to a leaked business memo first revealed by Business Insider and reported on by Gizmodo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a company-wide email to the tech giant’s employees stating that he would “appreciate” if all staff “contributed in a deeper way.” He’s now requiring them to take two to fours of their day to test out Bard’s AI in order to help sniff out kinks and issues to be fixed.
A Google spokesperson told Gizmodo that “testing and feedback, from Googlers and external trusted testers, are important aspects of improving Bard to ensure it’s ready for our users.” However, they never specified how long and how often this required testing for employees will last.
The repercussions of Google’s fear
Google released Bard last week after Microsoft revealed its own ChatGPT AI integration into its new and improved Bing. Google workers had complained about the rushed launch and, according to a report from CNET, used the company’s internal meme forum MemeGen to poke fun at the AI.
It’s no wonder they’ve been mocking Bard; even during the Live from Paris livestream event that debuted Google’s LaMDA chatbot-powered AI program, the bot made a key factual error that resulted in a $100 billion drop in the company’s market valuation in a single day. Since then, employee-made memes have been calling both the technology and the presentation “rushed, botched, and myopic.”
And yet, because Google looks so spooked of Microsoft’s AI search program, Bard is now in a rocky place and the tech giant is forcing employees to take time out of their own work schedules to poke and prod at an unpolished AI to get to stop stumbling around so much.
And the fear that caused such a botched launch is ironic considering all the issues Microsoft Bing’s own AI-powered search program has been having, between having a breakdown and making things up while throwing tantrums. It remains to be seen how Google Bard will fair but considering how muddled things have already been for it, it has a long way to go to recoup its reputation loss.