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Google is taking bookings to talk to its AI chatbot

Registration is open for those interested in getting on the waitlist to test Google’s conversational tool, LaMDA.

Users will be able to chat to LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialog Applications, through an app called AI Test Kitchen that Google announced earlier this year. The company has now launched the app on Android and will release it to iOS in the coming weeks.

Google will roll out LaMDA to small groups of users first. It had also put safeguards in place following the controversy when one of the company’s engineers declared LaMDA to be a self-aware person.

Once on the app, users will be able to choose from three demos: “Imagine It,” “List It,” and “Talk About It.” Each is designed to test different aspects of the model’s functionality. “Imagine It” asks users to tell LaMDA to describe a real or imaginary place in a vivid and detailed way to test its storytelling abilities.

With the “List It” demo, users will be asked to share a specific topic or task – like picnic planning – and LaMDA will break it down into a list of subtasks to examine its structured language skills.

Finally, there’s “Talk About It” mode, which seems set to be the most entertaining. Users will be free to chat with LaMDA in an open end conversation, the only caveat being that the discussion must revolve around dogs and dogs alone. This is meant to explore how well LaMDA can stay on the topic.

Google says it will utilize user feedback to build a chatbot that is less offensive and inaccurate – a bane of conversational tools – and expects to do it by gradually introducing its demo version to the public.

Meta took a different approach when it released its BlenderBot3 to a much wider audience. Mere days after exposure to the internet, it turned into an anti-semite homophobe. Meta warned this could happen but said this was the only way to improve chatbots.

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