Google’s Bard AI to reach 2 billion users

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Google’s experimental chatbot Bard could reach two billion users and improve search, a director said.

Bard, which lets users brainstorm and fetch information with AI, could attract more customers, said Product Lead Jack Krawczyk. Google plans to integrate Bard with Google Assistant, which lives on over a billion devices. This could introduce AI to more people and change the way consumers gather information, Krawczyk said.

Bard’s web traffic grew 2% in October to 8.7 million, but chief rival ChatGPT grew faster. Google Search traffic fell 0.4% in October, analysts said. Krawczyk said his mandate is to improve Bard’s helpfulness, not monetization. Retention has varied over time, he said.

Bard recently stumbled after people wanted to use it in “record numbers,” Krawczyk said. OpenAI also reported a major outage in ChatGPT on the same day.

Krawczyk said Google is still learning how to most effectively accommodate large swaths of people, adding it was a challenge “over a span of a couple of minutes.” He said the surge reminded him of what Google Search faced upon news of pop star Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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