We’ve said it many times around here, but I’ll say it again: AI is moving fast these days. While just a few months ago none of us gave a passing thought to anything like ChatGPT or Bard on a daily basis, we now find ourselves thinking and talking about AI on a very regular basis these days; and it’s always a mix of awe, wonder, hope, trepidation, and a little bit of fear.
Regardless of how you feel about the whole thing, the truth of the matter is AI is out of the box at this point and there’s little we can do to stop the race to make it better. And even though Google’s Bard was a bit behind the curve at first, it has become clear that the consumer-facing Bard we see right now is a small portion of the AI and large language models that Google actually has available behind closed doors.
It feels like updates are happening at a wildly-rapid pace, and in most tech spheres, this would be fantastic. As it stands, I think most of us are a little wary when it comes to these conversational AI models, making the pace of innovation a tad bit scary when you consider the ramifications. Depending on the day, I can be ultra-excited or terrified of what we’re watching develop; but today I’m in a hopeful mood, so let’s talk about a big move Google is making to put Bard more front and center for Pixel users.
Bard is coming to Pixel phones
Dug up by 9to5 Google, it looks like Bard will be far more accessible for Pixel owners in the coming weeks or months. I’d wager we’ll see some info arise about this effort next week at Google I/O 2023, but there are no guarantees, there. Still, the potential is pretty interesting.
Google is already building Bard into things like Google Docs, Gmail and other apps and even moving to bring direct support to Chromebooks, too. Whether or not it will take the place of the Google Assistant or simply be merged into it is up in the air right now, but I don’t think any of that matters much for most people. Whether it is called Bard or Google Assistant, general users simply want the end result of what these large language models can do.
Bringing Bard closer to smartphone users is one way Google can begin to weave the chatbot into daily use cases with far more ease. And according to 9to5 Google, that is happening on Pixel phones and will come with a new widget that will make Bard accessible right from your home screens. How that integration will play out is not clear, but getting Bard more entrenched in the Android phone workflow will help spur adoption much faster than the current web-only option available.
It is also unclear if Bard on Android will be a Pixel exclusive forever, but my gut says there’s no way that is the case. Google tends to roll things out on Pixel first and then to the wider Android ecosystem over time. With a technology with as much game-changing potential as Bard has, I can’t imagine Google keeping it locked to Pixel phones for too long. Hopefully come I/O next week, we’ll get some clarity on their plans.