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Is Google Bard a Google Assistant replacement?

Google Bard has been out for a while now and we think it could replace one of the Google’s long-standing product, the Google Assistant.

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven conversational models taking the world by a storm, future possibilities of AI taking over the very basic tasks we perform seem plausible. Google, one of the first organisations to bring AI-backed Google Assistant to a broader audience, recently unveiled its own conversational AI model called Bard. While Bard and Google Assistant’s core functionality seems quite similar, can the more advanced model (Bard) replace, the older one (Google Assistant) or will Google opt for a different route? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

Possibility: Google replaces Assistant with Bard

With the competition heating up in the AI space, such as from Microsoft and OpenAI, Google had to come up with an answer, and it is called Bard. To strengthen the basics before we proceed, Bard is an experimental conversational AI service powered by LaMDA. It combines the depth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of Google’s large language models.

On the other hand, Google Assistant is a virtual assistant software application developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and home automation devices. Based on artificial intelligence, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.

While both of them are backed with advanced AI technologies, Google Bard is the stronger one out of the two as it can indulge better in conversations with a more detailed set of information that is better curated for the user who asked the query. This brings us to the first possibility, where Google replaces Google Assistant with Bard due to the dataset it has access to.

Unlike ChatGPT, which can only provide correct information till 2021 as it fetches information from the data it has been trained on, Google Bard searches the net in real-time and can provide you with the most up-to-date information. While Google Assistant can also do that, as both of them take advantage of Google’s search engine to gather information, it cannot provide a more personal experience than Bard can.

For example, if you ask Bard to write you can E-mail regarding getting a leave from the office, it can do exactly that, with precision and a more personal touch. However, if you ask Google Assistant to do the same, it brings up the search results with some templates for the mail alongside the one in the snippets. However, it didn’t write the E-mail itself, which Bard did.

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This was a small instance of showcasing what Bard’s capabilities are, compared to the Assistant and how superior it is over the latter. It can make you a curated diet chart, help you make decisions for your purchases, and possibly help you code in the future. However, Google Assistant cannot do such things and is more of a basic offering from Google for your devices. It can give you the information you need, but you will have to go an extra mile to find those pieces of information which suit you.

Next, while Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations, that conversation would definitely come to an end at a certain point where the Assistant cannot understand what you meant because it cannot hold conversations with past context. On the other hand, Bard is trained to do that, meaning it can engage in way more meaningful conversations that could help you in a way Assistant cannot.

Downsides of Google replacing Assistant with Bard

While there are a bunch of pros with this possibility, there are some cons too. First, is that Bard still offers factually incorrect information in some scenarios. Even with some basic questions, Bard fails to answer correctly while Google Assistant is actually something you can rely on as it searches Google and gives you information via the websites it thinks has the answer apt for your query.

While Bard also gives you the sources it gathered its information from, it sometimes doesn’t and it can become a little confusing whether to believe it or not. We give Bard the benefit of the doubt as it is still in its early stages and Google has a lot of work to do. However, this brings us to another downside, where Google kills Bard before it progresses to a stable stage.

Google has been known to kill some of its best running services and products such as ‘Inbox by Gmail’, and we don’t know whether Google would continue to develop Bard, which is still in its experimental phase, or could scrap it all of a sudden due to unforeseen circumstances.

Next, Google Assistant has been the go-to personal assistant for those who have smart homes and other Smart products that have Google Assistant integrated. With Bard coming into the picture, these smart home products could go extinct as Assistant won’t be supported anymore.

Apart from this, while Bard can currently give you all the text-based information you need, it cannot execute any local tasks on your devices, such as turning on/off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc, and even if Google brings the ability to Bard in the future, we don’t know how it would be implemented.

Next, replacing Google Assistant with Bard would also require a lot of work internally where Google will have to integrate it with other Google services so they can work seamlessly together.

Possibility: Google integrates Bard with Google Assistant

The only other route Google can take is that it integrates Bard within Google Assistant and brings the best of both the worlds together, unless Google has a different approach in mind where it wants to keep Google Bard an entirely separate service.

We think this is the best way to go, as not only Google Assistant would get smarter, people’s experiences would also get better. It will also solve some of the cons I mentioned in the previous possibility, such as integration with smart homes.

This would also result in wider adoption of Bard as most of Android smartphones already have Google Assistant. Integrating Bard within Assistant would encourage more people to use it and get the responses they want. With this approach, Google Assistant also becomes more personal and smarter. This is one advantage Microsoft does not have as it already seems to have given up on Cortana.

Considering Bard is a temporary name, Google Assistant would be better way to call the AI language model as it could actually end up being the perfect Assistant you would want who can create itineraries for you, book your flights, plan a date night, etc.

The only downside to this approach would be training Bard in such a way that it gives factually correct information 99/100 times. This is because people can completely rely on Assistant as of now because they know that the answer is from a Google Search result that is mostly correct all the time, but with Bard giving out information in a more personal and convincing manner, it will have to be more accurate with what it is providing the user.

Again, this would only be the case if Google doesn’t want Bard to be a separate service or a product. As of now, we still don’t know where Google wants to take Bard but if it does want it to be a revolutionary product, integrating it within Google Assistant would be a perfect idea.

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