To stay ahead of its competitors in the AI space, Google has taken a proactive approach to ensure the quality and safety of its AI chatbot, Bard, before releasing it to the public.
The tech giant has reportedly asked thousands of its employees to spend two to four hours each day stress testing the system, in what the company calls “dogfooding.” It is unclear whether this will be a daily or weekly requirement.
In a leaked company-wide email, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called for all staff to “contribute in a deeper way” to pressure test the system. This follows an embarrassing incident during a recent presentation where Bard made a significant error that caused the company to lose $100 billion in stock price.
More testing required
Google carries out various tests on Bard. This includes checking its “groundedness” to ensure that the AI-generated text reads as “human”. The company is demonstrating its commitment to improving its products and ensuring that users have access to accurate and reliable information.
However, developing AI chatbots is a challenging task that requires significant resources and effort. For instance, Microsoft’s Bing search AI has faced criticism for its inaccuracies and strange responses to user prompts. To avoid such issues, OpenAI, the creator of Microsoft’s Bing AI, hired low-wage workers in Kenya to sift through examples of horrible content, including child sexual abuse content, murder, torture, and suicide.
Bard is not ready, and Google is aware
While it is unclear whether Google’s staff will be subjected to similar tasks, the company’s investment in Anthropic, a rival to OpenAI, suggests that it is taking the development of AI chatbots seriously. Anthropic is hiring a “prompt engineer” to develop ways to get large language models to perform specific tasks.
Google’s efforts to polish Bard’s performance show that AI is still far from ready for prime time. However, by asking employees to participate in the testing, the company is demonstrating its commitment to improving its products and ensuring that users have access to accurate and reliable information.
It remains to be seen whether Google’s strategy will pay off. Still, the company’s dedication to innovation and its customers suggests that it is well-positioned to continue leading the way in AI.