Generative AI and large language models (LLMs) are all the rage right now thanks to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and GPT-4, Microsoft’s Bing Chat (which runs on GPT-4) and now Google’s Bard, which is available in preview in the U.S. and U.K. The main way to interact with these services now is through text and chat interfaces.
But what if you could speak to the AI instead? It might not be too far away.
At least, that seems to be the direction Google wants to go. As noted by 9to5Google, the search giant has previously expressed its Assistant as a product where it wants to incorporate “better conversational features.” Though that hasn’t happened yet, the Google Assistant team is helping lead Bard development, suggesting there’s a clear path to integration.
Google told 9to5 that Bard is an experimental service and is separate from Google Assistant, even though Sissie Hsiao, vice president and general manager of Google Assistant, joined Eli Collins, vice president of Google Research, to announce the company was opening access to Bard.
While the products remain separate for now, Google does see the potential crossover. For example, the Assistant team has worked on conversational AI and speech understanding for years, skills that can and have been applied to Bard.
Plus, 9to5 argues that the Assistant team has plenty of experience turning research into products and services that regular people can use with ease.
Given how quickly these AI tools have improved in the short time they’ve been publicly available, it’s hard to say how long it’ll be before we gain access to something like a Bard-powered Google Assistant. But I do think it’ll happen sooner than people expect, barring any significant problems arising from Bard.