Google CEO Wants Employees To Fix Problematic Bard AI Chatbot

As the extra testing hours soon to be logged at Google's offices prove, the biggest chatbots still have a long way to go.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out an internal memo this week, asking employees to dedicate between two and four hours working with the company’s AI chatbot Bard.

The news follows in the wake of a little bad PR for Google’s AI division, when the Bard bot offered up a factually inaccurate statement during a product demo last week.

The Google workers are already working this week on “dogfooding” the chatbot, a IT term for testing out products just like an end user would – i.e., eating their own dogfood. Still, they have a ways to go to catch up to other AI products such as Bing’s ChatGPT.

Google Remains an “AI-first” Company

Pichai sent an email on Wednesday, saying “this will be a long journey for everyone, across the field” about his request for a swath of employees to devote a chunk of their time this week to testing out Bard.

The tone remains optimistic despite the product demo snafu, an incident which wound up setting back Google’s stock prices by 9%.

“AI has gone through many winters and springs, and now it’s blooming again. As an AI-first company, we’ve been working towards this for many years and are ready for it.” ~Pichai

How Google Is Fixing Bard

The company CEO wasn’t the only one sending out internal memos about Bard, either: Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s vice president for search, emailed a list of dos and don’ts for those testing out the product. Employees are rewriting inappropriate answers from the bot, finetuning the chatbot’s tone.

Google workers are only rewriting answers covering topics that they understand well already, and they’ve been recommended to keep a “neutral” tone to avoid emotions.

“Bard learns best by example, so taking the time to rewrite a response thoughtfully will go a long way in helping us to improve the mode,” the memo says.

The AI Chatbot Race Continues

Bing’s own text-based bot, ChatGPT, is facing similar issues, with some pointing out that the chatbot is quick to become belligerent, and even insults its own users.

But there’s no shortage of competition in this tech arena, with other AI bots already open to the public (unlike Google’s Bard). Consider trying out ChatSonic, OpenAI Playground, or YouChat, among others.

Once the dust has settled on the battle for the biggest corner of the market, we might have a helpful replacement for search engines, which have been arguably getting worse at their job over the years. But as the extra testing hours soon to be logged at Google’s offices prove, the biggest players still have a long way to go before their chatbots are perfected.

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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