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June 14, 2024

Google Readies Paid “Bard Advanced” to Take on ChatGPT Plus

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Jan 5, 2024

Google is developing a paid, premium version of its Bard conversational AI service called “Bard Advanced,” according to new findings in Google’s code and leaks from sources close to the project. The paid service looks to take on OpenAI’s recently announced ChatGPT Plus subscription.

The Path to Bard Advanced

Work on Bard Advanced appears to have ramped up over the past couple weeks as Google races to respond to ChatGPT’s popularity. Here’s a timeline of what we know so far about Google’s plans for premium Bard features:

  • Early December 2022: Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly accelerates the Bard conversational AI project in response to ChatGPT hype. At this time Bard is expected to remain free.
  • Late December 2022: Google previews Bard to testers. Reception is reportedly mixed leading to more development work.
  • January 2023: Google finds OpenAI’s plan to monetize ChatGPT via a $20/month subscription called ChatGPT Plus. This likely influences Google’s thinking on pricing.
  • Early January 2023: Code references and UI previews for “Bard Advanced” emerge, pointing to premium capabilities.
  • January 4th, 2023: Multiple reports confirm Google plans to launch Bard Advanced as a paid subscription in the near future.

So within just a couple weeks, Google’s Bard strategy shifted in response to ChatGPT’s viral success and OpenAI’s subscription model. Google likely realized the market would support premium conversational AI capabilities over its existing free Google Assistant.

Details Emerge on Bard Advanced Features

Code analysis and leaks point to Bard Advanced bringing key improvements over the free Bard chatbot:

  • Faster performance: Bard Advanced leverages Google’s powerful Gemini Ultra language model rather than the standard Gemini model. This brings next-gen speed and accuracy.
  • Higher request limits: Free Bard will be throttled, but Bard Advanced removes limits for paying subscribers so queries are always fast.
  • Priority access: Subscribers get access to new Bard features first before they reach the free tier.
  • Private experiences: Personal identifiable data likely stays private and isn’t used to improve Google services. Peace of mind for sensitive queries.
  • Ad-free experience: No distracting ads alongside Bard Advanced results. Just clean answers.
  • Lower costs than ChatGPT Plus: Sources claim Google aims to undercut OpenAI’s $20/month pricing. This could encourage mass adoption.
Capability Free Bard Bard Advanced
Performance Gemini model Gemini Ultra model
Request limits Throttling applied No limits for subscribers
New feature access Gets them later Gets them early
Data privacy Limited Improved
Ad experience Shows Google ads Ad-free

So in summary – faster, unlimited, early-access, more private, ad-free conversational AI from Google…for a price. This positions Bard Advanced as a premium alternative while still keeping basic Bard capabilities free.

When Will Bard Advanced Launch?

Code discoveries indicate Bard Advanced may launch very soon – potentially days or weeks out. Google wants to preempt ChatGPT Plus adoption by swooping in with a competitive paid offering out the gate.

Bard Product Leader Johanna Wright confirmed January 4th that paid Bard capacities are in the works. Additionally, some testing accounts show an early visual preview of the Bard Advanced user interface.

Early Bard Advanced Chat UI

Publicly, Google is soliciting ideas for new 2024 Bard capabilities. But reading between the lines, many of these features will likely debut first (and perform better) in Bard Advanced before expanding to free Bard.

The Road Ahead for Conversational AI

With two tech giants now charging subscriptions for conversational AI, it shows the technology passing out of the research phase and being productized for mainstream consumption.

Both companies are pouring more resources into improving capabilities. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has reportedly made Bard an urgent priority inside Google. And Microsoft is developing a next-gen LLM model to bring to Azure OpenAI products.

We can expect rapid innovation in 2023 across accuracy, speed, fact-checking abilities and supported use cases. Over time, the gap between free and paid tiers will likely widen further as companies hold fresh functionality back for subscribers.

Neither Google nor OpenAI see each other as allies in this market. With both offering paid versions to directly challenge the other in an AI chatbot arms race. Microsoft has a foot in both camps – partnering with OpenAI while also developing competing technologies for Azure.

Further down the line, advanced chatbots could become a platform for other subscription services – think an AI personal assistant that also sells you products and services using conversational commerce. So the monetization models stand to evolve.

For now we wait eagerly for Google’s first response to ChatGPT Plus by launching Bard Advanced. And anticipate many twists and turns ahead in this trillion-dollar AI market.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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