Google employees criticize Bard's botched announcement
Several Google employees have criticized the company's decision to announce Bard, a language model optimized for dialog, last week.
Bard's announcement and presentation felt rushed. Google and Alphabet CEP Sundar Pichai announced Bard on Google's official blog. Microsoft demonstrated the capabilities of OpenAI language models in the company's search engine Bing and browser Microsoft Edge a day after Pichai's announcement, but a day before Google's Paris live demonstration.
Google's live presentation from Paris felt rushed. It was not only about AI either, and it did not help much that one of the promos for Bard contained a factual error. All AI systems may return incorrect answers, but this error was emblematic for Google's lackluster presentation.
Alphabet's stock dropped by over 7% shortly after the Paris event took place. Google set the recording of the event to private shortly after it ended, and it has been unavailable since.
CNBC reports that several Google employees criticized leadership on the company's internal Memegen forum. There, employees referred to the announcement of Bard as "rushed", "botched" and even "un-Googley" according to CNBC, which had access to the messages and memes.
Several of the posts criticized leadership, and Sundar Pichai in particular, for rushing the announcement and creating expectations for the Wednesday event that could not be met by the Google employees in Paris.
Microsoft and Google
Microsoft's presentation of OpenAI technology in Bing and Microsoft Edge highlighted the capabilities of the technologies. Google's Bard was announced at the time, but Google had yet to demonstrate the capabilities of its AI.
Microsoft stole Google's thunder in its presentation on Tuesday, showing fluent switches between regular searches on Bing and AI-powered dialogue, continuous searches, or Microsoft Edge's new ability to summarize web pages and even compare data from webpages or documents with others.
Google's presentation in Paris was mostly about core Google product improvements. Google employees highlighted new features in Maps and other Google products.
Bard's demonstration was short, and it lacked the integration in core Google systems. While Google announced that Bard will become available soon for users to try, it did not highlight how a Bard integration in Google Search or other Google products could look like.
Google could have waited with the revealing of Bard. The announcement of Bard by Sundar Pichai would still have paled against Microsoft's presentation a day later, but it would not have such a serious impact on the stock or image of the company.
Google and Alphabet have invested heavily in AI, but the company has little to show in its products, and nothing that may be as ground-breaking as Microsoft's integration in its Bing search engine and Microsoft Edge browser.
Microsoft meanwhile is working on integrating more AI components into Microsoft Office and other company products.
For now, it appears that Microsoft has an edge up in the AI battle.
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