Follow these steps to access the Bard AI chatbot, Google’s ChatGPT rival, using a browser on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or other compatible devices.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT captured the world’s imagination, so Google, a company synonymous with artificial intelligence (AI), felt compelled to do something about it. On March 21, 2023, Google opened up limited access to its AI chatbot for users in the US and UK, expanding over time to more countries and languages.
Although Bard hasn’t launched publicly, you can experiment with it if you live in a supported region. Read along as we show you how to access Bard on your devices.
What is Google Bard?
Bard is a new, experimental, AI-powered chatbot from Google that can answer complex questions. Now, Google quickly points out that Bard isn’t a replacement for search even though its answers are based on information pulled from the web.
Data scrapping from the web is the biggest problem with AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Bard as it can cause these things to go off the rails, insulting and gaslighting users. It remains to be seen whether these teething problems will plague Bard, too.
For now, you can experiment with Bard in a web browser.
How to access Google Bard
You can access Bard in a supported region by pointing your browser to bard.google.com, though you’ll need to join a waitlist by providing your personal Google or Gmail account (Google Workspace accounts won’t work).
- Visit bard.google.com using Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Edge.
- Click the Join Waitlist button.
- Sign in with a personal Gmail/Google account (Workspace accounts don’t work).
- When prompted, click Yes, I’m in.
Once you’re on the waitlist, check your inbox for an email notification from Google confirming that you have been granted access to the AI chatbot. Keep in mind that you must be older than 18 years to use Bard.
How to use the Bard AI chatbot
If you’ve used ChatGPT before, you’ll feel at home with Bard. Bard relies on Google’s Transformer neural network architecture and Language Model for Dialogue Applications service (LaMDA), so it’s as powerful as you’d expect.
You can hit the chatbot with some complex queries and follow-up questions. Perhaps you’d like to ask Bard to summarize existing articles and simplify complex topics for you? For example, you can ask it to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope as if you were a 9-year-old.
One of the best use cases for services like Bard is rapid ideation. Like with ChatGPT, you can request that Bard drafts a specific idea to jumpstart your creativity, such as “Give me ideas on how to introduce my daughter to fly fishing.”
Bard may give you multiple drafts so you can pick the best one. “You can continue to collaborate with Bard from there, asking follow-up questions,” Google explains. “And if you want to see an alternative, you can always have Bard try again.”
Google views Bard as a “complementary experience” to search.
Bard won’t always get it right
Google notes that Bard won’t always get things right. “Large language models (LLM) will not always get it right,” according to Google’s Keyword blog. The company admits Bard may give inaccurate or inappropriate responses.
While LLMs are an exciting technology, they’re not without their faults. For instance, because they learn from a wide range of information that reflects real-world biases and stereotypes, those sometimes show up in their outputs.
And they can provide inaccurate, misleading or false information while presenting it confidently. For example, when asked to share a couple suggestions for easy indoor plants, Bard convincingly presented ideas…but it got some things wrong, like the scientific name for the ZZ plant.
To verify the accuracy of Bard’s responses, you can click the Google it button, which will, as you can imagine, find relevant results on Google’s search engine. The company hinted that it will be “thoughtfully integrating” LLMs into its search in “a deeper way” but wouldn’t share any specifics as to when that might be coming.