Today’s Cache | Google’s AI chatbot Bard, Dell layoffs, and China’s ChatGPT rival Ernie

Updated - February 07, 2023 11:00 pm IST

Published - February 07, 2023 01:54 pm IST

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Google’s AI chatbot Bard

Google-parent Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post that selected users will be able to test the company’s conversational AI service, Bard. In several weeks, Bard should also be available for the public to try out. Bard is based on Google’s artificial intelligence LaMDA. Just as Microsoft plans to work closely with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other offerings from the company, Google too plans to leverage AI technology in order to enhance its search engine and develop tools for creators and developers.

Dell layoffs

Computer maker Dell has said that it will fire about 5% of its workforce. The company is facing a drop in demand for computer devices after a boom in hardware spending during the height of the pandemic, as remote work was dominant. Since then, however, macroeconomic conditions and fears of a potential recession have made customers more cautious and price-sensitive. Dell’s announcement comes after firms like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Pinterest and Salesforce also announced mass layoffs.

China’s ChatGPT rival Ernie

China’s tech and search engine giant Baidu said that it would finish internal tests on an AI-powered chatbot “Ernie” bot next month. Ernie is short for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” and was introduced in 2019, according to the company. Baidu also has plans to use Ernie in its search engine over time. OpenAI’s public release of the large language model ChatGPT has triggered other rivals to work on similar models and ready them for release, even as regulators worldwide try to keep up with the legal implications of such technology and its use cases.

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