Google employees criticize Bard's botched announcement

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 13, 2023

Several Google employees have criticized the company's decision to announce Bard, a language model optimized for dialog, last week.

Google launches Bard, ChatGPTs competitor – here’s what it looks like

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

Google Bard AI

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.

Now You: will you use AI tools when they become available?

Google employees criticize Bard's botched announcement
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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. 
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  1. Anonymous said on February 13, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    After a week, all of these AI chats become boring and pointless. The AI art generators were the only AI that continued to hold my interest.

  2. piomiq said on February 13, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    We need to remember that Microsoft didn’t create AI system instead of Google, only bought it, so for sure was easiest for this company integrate it with its webbrowser.
    And seems that Google’s presentation was too rush.

  3. chesscanoe said on February 13, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    I may try AI Search a decade or so from now when its usefulness is proved to outweigh its danger.

  4. Tom Hawack said on February 13, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Deep Google — Rush Rush

    Na na na na na na
    Na na na na na na
    Rush, rush
    I thought I heard AI calling my name now
    Rush, rush
    It broke my pace but I handle it just the same now
    Rush, rush
    Thought I heard it calling my name now
    Rush, rush
    I need its loving and I’m not to blame now

  5. ChatGPT-4 said on February 13, 2023 at 10:39 am

    And why, seeing this phrase in bold, does my hand clenches into a fist every time? Don’t command, you arrogant IT-pig – ask instead.

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