Google Employees Slam CEO For Rushed Dumpster Fire Reveal Of ChatGPT Rival Bard

sundar pichai
Googlers are up in arms about the company's recent unveiling of Bard, its answer to the new threat posed by ChatGPT. Google's announcement last week was marred by a glaring and preventable error, which has sent the stock spiraling downward and reinforced a perception that Google stumbles from one crisis to the next. Employees are starting to settle on a cause for the company's recent woes: CEO Sundar Pichai.

At Google's AI event last week, Google showed off some content generated by its new Bard AI, which is intended to compete with ChatGPT. However, the AI flubbed one of the example queries, claiming that the James Webb Space Telescope was the first to photograph an exoplanet when, in fact, that happened 20 years ago. The mistake is still visible in the tweet below. This is a problem for AI chatbots, which will confidently relay false information. ChatGPT, which is coming to Microsoft's Bing search, does the same thing, but its failures have not been quite so high-profile.

Now, Google's internal Memegen forum is rife with complaints about the Bard unveiling. "The Bard launch and the layoffs were rushed, botched, and myopic. Please return to taking a long-term outlook," says one employee. Another gave Sundar and Google's senior team a "Perf NI" rating, the lowest 'needs improvement' performance rating on Google's internal review scale. Others point out that the post-Bard hit to the company's stock erased all the gains from the recent round of layoffs, which saw 12,000 people fired. Another posted a meme featuring a burning dumpster with a Google logo on it. Ouch. 
Many of the postings also criticize Google's apparent panic regarding ChatGPT. In the days ahead of Microsoft's Bing announcement, some prominent voices in tech discussed how ChatGPT could eat into Google's search business. Suddenly, Google was serious about turning its AI research into a product—the company's engineers actually invented the transformer machine learning algorithms that underlie ChatGPT in 2017. It had a multi-year head start, but apparently waited for hints that ChatGPT could affect Google's stock price before rushing out its competitor.

You can't use Bard just yet—Google is starting with a small group of testers before making the AI available more widely in the coming weeks. Microsoft is taking a similar approach with Bing, but you can join a waitlist to get access. It's up to Google to prove Bard is worth the wait now. Bard's inability to provide accurate information and the team's failure to notice may have harmed Google more than if it had taken a wait-and-see approach to ChatGPT.