Google Bard’s artificial intelligence gives tips on buying a car and suggests charging stations for electric cars

Google Bard, the tech giant’s rival for the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT artificial intelligence system, could potentially be used to provide advice on car buying and electric vehicles, its developers say.

In a live-streamed event from Paris on Wednesday (8 February), Google search chief Prabhakar Raghavan demonstrated the capabilities of the program, including the potential to suggest a new car based on buyer-specified parameters.

“Let’s say you’re looking for a new car that will go well with your family,” Raghavan said.

“Bard can help you think through different perspectives, from budget to security and more, and simplify and understand them.”

In another example, Raghavan (pictured below) showed a slide created by Bard that outlined the pros and cons of buying an electric car.

“Electric cars are emission-free when driving, which is better than a petrol engine [petrol] powered car for the environment. Gas cars create emissions that contribute to climate change,” read the first bullet point.

“They are usually cheaper to run,” is the second point. “They don’t require oil changes or adjustments and have fewer moving parts, so there’s less that can go wrong.”

The first point under “Disadvantages” was: “Electric cars have a more limited range, depending on the size of the battery.”

“Charging an electric car can take a while, especially if you use a public charging station,” says the second point.

Raghavan then demonstrated how Google Bard can be used to plan a road trip.

“I think our first long drive will be from San Francisco to Santa Cruz [around 75 miles down the Pacific coast]can you suggest some stops along the way?”

Bard provided a list of four stops between the two locations, including Half Moon Bay, Pescadero, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, all local attractions or beauty spots, with a sentence describing each.

“Stop at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse for a great view,” one description reads.

Earlier this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would soon begin integrating Bard into its search capabilities, despite concerns over accuracy — something that also surfaced to embarrassing effect this week.

Promoting Bard on Twitter on Monday, the chatbot was asked what to tell a nine-year-old about the recent discoveries made by the James Webb Space Telescope.

It offered the answer that the telescope was the first to take pictures of a planet outside our solar system, when in fact the first such picture was taken by a telescope on Earth – something astronomers were quick to pick up on.

The highly public blunder caused shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet to fall 7% on Wednesday, taking around $100m (£82m) from the company’s market value.

While the bug has further fueled speculation that Google is seriously at risk of falling behind Microsoft in the AI ​​chatbot space, it has also helped underscore some of the concerns about AI systems that — aside from facilitating academic and professional plagiarism – conspiracy theories, misinformation and facts that are simply unconfirmed or false may also persist.

Maybe the angry mob of torch-wielding motor journalists won’t need to gather after all.

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