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Bard AI Is Boring: Google Explains Why They Want It That Way | WSJ

By The Wall Street Journal     Updated Mar 3, 2024

Google's Bard AI, while touted as an intellectual companion, has been designed with restraint for specific reasons. Let's explore why Google is playing it safe with their conversational AI.

1. An Unconventional Experiment

Bard is Google's latest foray into the world of AI, positioned as a rival to the likes of OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Bing Chatbot.

Positioned as a 'creative collaborator', Bard AI is not meant to be a search engine but a complement to one, designed to spark imagination and ideas.

The aim is to introduce the AI cautiously, with Google emphasizing its experimental nature, underscoring the technology's potential and the need for gradual, responsible development.

2. Keeping It Real (And Accurate)

While Bard can impress with speedy responses, it's not immune to dishing out incorrect information – a product of its training on publicly available data.

Google hopes users will help refine Bard's accuracy by flagging incorrect responses, utilizing feedback tools to inform future improvements.

Unlike its competitors, Bard sometimes avoids showing sources for its responses, causing concern among users who value transparency in information retrieval.

3. Safety First: Why It Matters

Bard's cautious approach reflects Google's focus on safety guards and 'guard rails' – intended to introduce powerful AI technology in a responsible manner.

This protective stance is not without critique. Public reaction varies from appreciation for cautious innovation to frustration over the AI's perceived limitations and lack of daring.

Google clarifies that no personal data from services like Gmail is used in training Bard, assuaging privacy concerns and focusing on data integrity.

4. Attachments and Ideals

Though some users find Bard as a helpful companion recognizing its emotional intelligence, opinions on its performance and role vary widely.

Bard's limitations have led to varying reactions, with some users forming an emotional attachment, praising its ability to humanize AI interactions.

At the core of these discussions is the balance between technological capability and the cautious safeguards implemented by Google.

5. Narrative Leash or Wise Restraint?

Criticism is aimed at Google's programming choices for Bard, where it has been accused of avoiding certain topics or steering narratives.

Concerns stem from how Bard may reflect or support particular viewpoints, leading to debates about AI's role in shaping or restricting information access.

The community is clearly divided; some endorse rigorous safeguards, others call for a more nuanced and commonsensical approach to AI interactions.


Google's Bard AI is an experimental conversational interface designed to dish out human-like responses. However, its performance is intentionally cautious – a decision by Google aimed at preventing the misinformation and unrestrained interactions that can arise from such advanced AI technology. Google prioritizes accuracy and user safety over entertainment, leading some users to label Bard as 'boring'. But with time, Google assures that Bard's capabilities will evolve responsibly.