Google Bard could soon become your new AI life coach

Lately, there has been a negative perception surrounding generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT. However, Google seems to be aiming for a more positive direction with its upcoming project. The company is developing an AI capable of providing constructive life advice to individuals facing challenging situations.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, Google has been actively experimenting with its AI technology across a diverse range of 21 tasks. These tasks encompass various aspects, including offering guidance for life decisions, brainstorming ideas, providing step-by-step plans, and offering educational pointers. The scope of this work covers both professional and personal contexts that users may encounter.

This outcome arises from the amalgamation of Google’s DeepMind research lab and its Brain AI team. This move signifies the pressing nature of Google’s endeavor to position itself at the forefront of the AI field, as mentioned in the report.

As per an illustration mentioned in The Times, Google has been engaged in addressing a situation where a user wishes to attend a dear friend’s wedding but faces financial constraints preventing them from covering the travel expenses.

The shift towards aiding users in their most urgent personal challenges represents a notable departure for Google. In December 2022, shortly after the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a confidential internal Google presentation advised caution against forming overly strong emotional attachments to AI tools, as per The New York Times’ report.

In fact, Google’s own safety experts issued a warning in December, expressing concerns that seeking life advice from AI could lead to “deteriorated health and well-being” and a “diminished sense of control.” Some users might erroneously perceive the AI as sentient, capable of human-level understanding.

Even as recently as the March 2023 launch of Google Bard, the company explicitly stated that the tool was prohibited from offering guidance on medical, financial, or legal matters. Should Google proceed to integrate these capabilities into its AI tools, it would signify a remarkable reversal of stance, potentially raising questions about whether Google is prioritizing AI dominance over the well-being of its users.

A life coach isn’t the sole AI-driven tool that Google is reportedly developing. In its array of ongoing projects, Google is exploring tools capable of producing scientific and artistic writing, aiding journalists in crafting headlines, and identifying and extrapolating patterns from text.

However, it’s worth noting that Google recently expressed reservations about concepts like these, highlighting the potential risk of diminishing the skillset of creative writers through the application of generative AI.

While the realization of these tools remains uncertain at present, Google appears resolute in its determination to lead the AI race. Nonetheless, this pursuit may not be without consequences, as underscored by its own experts.

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