Google has recently been under fire for its fumbled announcement of Bard which has Alphabet stocks tumbling down to almost 9%. Employees of the company have also been criticizing the leadership and the steps that have been taken since the announcement.
Last week, in an all-hands meeting, executives finally answered questions from the workforce in the company’s internal forum, with most of the top issues concerning Bard.
In the forum, Jack Krawczyk, the product lead for Bard, clarified that “Bard is not search” and that instead, it’s an experimental collaborative AI service.
According to Krawczyk, the magic that they’re finding in using the product is really around being a creative companion to help people be the sparkplug for imagination, to explore their curiosity, etc.
He quickly followed up by saying that they can’t stop users from trying to use it like search, but as people want to get into more search-oriented journeys, Google already has a product for it and it’s called search.
This attempt to separate Bard from search seems to be a shift from their initial strategy during their Bard announcement wherein search was mentioned a couple of times, how Bard will be integrated to search, and it’s different uses.
Elizabeth Reid, the vice president of engineering for search, also supported Krawczyk’s statements and mentioned Google’s extensive use of large language models (LLMs), citing Bert and Mum as an example:
“As Jack said, Bard is really separate from search…We do have a pretty long history of bringing LLMs into search”
Reid added that while the company experiments with LLMs, it wants to “keep the heart of what search is”.
With Google’s Bard announcement prompting people to think that Bard is a competitor for Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT to the new Bing and their Bing chat feature, the pivot to the separation of Search from Bard is quite a surprise.
With more and more people using Bing and its Bing Chat feature, it has us quite puzzled as to what steps Google is taking to catch up in the generative AI race and to maintain its dominance in Search. What does Google have in store for Google Search? We can only wait, see, and hope that they do not fumble it up further.