Former Google AI engineer claims Bard was trained using ChatGPT

Google Bard interface
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google launched Bard shortly after Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into Bing and Edge.
  • A former Google engineer claimed Bard was trained using data from ChatGPT.
  • Google has denied that it uses ChatGPT to train its chatbot.

As if Google and Microsoft didn't have enough to feud over, the battle between AI chatbots is only heating up. Following the popularity of ChatGPT and its integration into Microsoft's Bing, a former employee has claimed that Google uses data from OpenAI's chatbot in order to train Bard, its homegrown competitor.

According to The Information, former AI researcher Jacob Devlin allegedly quit after expressing concerns to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and other top executives about the way Bard was being trained. He apparently believed the team behind Bard was using ShareGPT, a platform where users post the exchanges they've had with OpenAI's chatbot.

Devlin was concerned that using the data would not only violate OpenAI's terms of service but that Bard's responses would end up sounding too similar to ChatGPT. A source told The Information that Google stopped using the ChatGPT in its efforts to train Bard after he raised the concerns.

In a statement to The Verge, a Google spokesperson remarked that "Bard is not trained on any data from ShareGPT or ChatGPT."

Google has maintained that Bard is built using LaMDA, which is the company's language model that it has been working on to bring more conversational AI (at one point, a Google engineer thought it was sentient). Even so, the announcement and eventual public testing of Bard seemed like fairly reactive moves from Google, and it's been speculated that the company scrambled to get the product out in the wake of ChatGPT's growing popularity. That would make Devlin's claims seem all the more likely.

As for Devlin, The Information indicates he left Google to work at OpenAI along with a host of other AI researchers.

Meanwhile, Google is apparently ramping up its efforts to make Bard compete with ChatGPT by bringing together two of its major AI teams to collaborate on it, an effort reportedly dubbed "Gemini." Of course, with ChatGPT now integrated into Bing and Microsoft search engine growing in use as a result, it makes sense Google would use all of the tools at its disposal to bring Bard up to snuff.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.