If you’ve been paying attention to the rapid acceleration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies over the past year, then you’ll know that the plethora of applications seems to hold no bounds.
From the human-like large language text generators like ChatGPT and text-to-image generators, such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, to video creators like RunwayML, there are now so many AI applications available to use, you may find it difficult to choose the right one for your needs! Including Google’s own chatbot, Bard. We’ve talked a bit about Bard’s capabilities and controversial release here.
But what does Bard stand for? It’s not an acronym, like ChatGPT’s “Generative Pre-Trained Transformer”. Why is it called Bard? Read on to find out what we discovered about the ubiquitous tech giant’s AI entry.
What Does Bard Stand For?
Bard doesn’t stand for anything, really. We asked Bard itself why it was named Bard, and it told us:
Bard is a reference to the Celtic tradition of bards, who were professional storytellers, verse-makers, music composers, oral historians and genealogists, employed by a patron to praise them or their ancestors. Bards were trained to remember and recite stories and poems, and they often played instruments as well. They were also skilled in improvisation and could compose new stories and songs on the spot.
The name Bard was chosen for me because of my ability to generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer questions in an informative way.
Google’s Bard AI is based on the company’s own LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) model, which gives it the capacity to comprehend user inputs, as well as provide precise answers in a conversational manner, using information that has been drawn from all across the web.
The word “Bard” refers to poet, and is most used when referring to the renowned English literary figure, William Shakespeare, who is known as the Bard of Avon, due to his having been born in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Shakespeare was lauded for his linguistic and creative prowess, and his works included plays, sonnets, and poems, which all demonstrated his remarkable ability to use the English language in profound and imaginative ways.
The term “bard” has historical origins, and has been used to describe poets, storytellers, and singers in various cultures throughout history.
So, in this context, “bard” conveys a sense of high skill, creativity, and cultural significance, which could point to why Google chose to use the name for its generative AI model.
What Other References Could There Be?
It could also mean that the name was chosen to refer to the real Bard’s imagination and writing capabilities, or even because the nomenclature is rooted in geek culture (Bards is a character class used in Dungeons and Dragons and numerous video games).
But because Bard is a generative AI chatbot that uses the power of the tech behemoth’s LaMDA language model to decipher user inputs and provide responses in a conversational manner, it can generate a diverse array of content, including poems, stories, blogs, articles, and more.
In essence, Bard represents a generative AI that is designed to produce novel text-based content. Its core objective is to deliver responses to user inputs in an organic, conversational manner, and cater to diverse queries.
But more than that, Bard possesses the ability to go beyond text generation by crafting stories. It can create a variety of narrative concepts, themes, and genres, and it’s this creativity that allows it to generate stories that are based on users’ imaginations.
The Fine Print
It’s worth pointing out that Bard currently has some limitations when it comes to generating extensive and lengthy content, such as articles, essays, or more detailed fictional narratives like stories.
Bard’s capabilities in these areas are constrained due to the AI chatbot still being in the developmental stages. Therefore, you might come across some operational constraints, which could potentially cause inefficiencies in the output when Bard is tasked with handling complex assignments.
That said, Google is continuously improving on Bard, and has released a major update that improves quality, allows for web searching for source materials, and provides plugins for Google features like Google Docs and Google Flights.
It’s clear that Bard is second fiddle to OpenAI’s ChatGPT at the moment, and both systems are undergoing rapid improvement.
At present, Bard can be used free of charge to users spanning 180 countries. Google actively encourages its users to engage with the AI chatbot, in order to provide feedback that will enhance the services’s capabilities even further.
And now that you know what Bard stands for, you can use Google’s generative text AI service to do exactly what you want it to.