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Sunday, June 04, 2023

Google releases Bard to the world – but leaves the EU behind

Example of how Country/region regulation can stall uses, increase training, mauntenance needs. 

 Google releases Bard to the world – but leaves the EU behind    in Nextweb

The bloc's frosty reception of generative AI could be to blame

May 11, 2023 - 12:26 pm

During its I/O 2023 event yesterday, Google announced it had officially removed the waitlist for its AI-powered chatbot Bard and made the service available in 180 countries and territories.

Sadly for most Europeans keen on testing the tech giant’s contribution to the generative AI race, the countries of the European Union are not included in the list. 

The company has not made any comments on why the EU has been left out. However, it would not be too far-fetched to assume it has something to do with how members of the bloc have reacted to the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

In all likelihood, Google is also waiting for the finalisation of the EU’s much-anticipated AI Act, before unleashing Bard across the continent. The leading European Parliament committees gave their approval for the act earlier today, with a tentative plenary adoption date scheduled for 14 June. 

While not offering any specific plans for increased geographical access, Google says it will “gradually expand to more countries and territories in a way that is consistent with local regulations and our AI principles.” 

Trained on Google’s new model

Along with the release of Bard to much of the world (and sharp VPN wielders), Google also introduced a range of new features to the chatbot. First of all, it is now powered by Google’s newest large language model: PaLM2, an upgraded version of PaLM, released in April. Meanwhile, Bard was still introduced as a “conversational AI experiment.”

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