ChatGPT killer: Google-owned, UK-born AI startup Deepmind is working on a rival

DeepMind Sparrow
Image credits: DeepMind

In industries ranging from medtech to fintech, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, with the potential to revolutionise industries. 

If you’re a follower of the latest AI development, you would certainly know about ChatGPT. A new (AI) application, ChatGPT, designed to enable users to interact with artificially intelligent chat agents in a natural language, is hogging all the limelight! In fact, Redmond giant Microsoft has decided to invest $10B in OpenAI at a valuation of $29B. 

Since, it has been gaining traction as one of the fastest-growing AI applications and is quickly becoming popular globally. 

Meet Sparrow: a ChatGPT killer?

But looks like, the free run for the ChatGPT is about to end, as Google’s subsidiary DeepMind is set to launch a rival AI assistant. To reiterate, DeepMind is a  British AI subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. and research laboratory founded in 2010 and acquired by Google nine years ago. 

Recently, DeepMind’s CEO and owner, Demis Hassabis, revealed that it plans to launch its chatbot in private beta sometime in 2023 in an interview with Times Magazine. Hassabis also added that AI is “on the cusp” of reaching a level that could cause significant damage to humanity. 

Dubbed as Sparrow, DeepMind said it has features including an ability to cite sources through reinforcement learning, which ChatGPT lacks. Hence the delay, according to Demis Hassabis.

Chatbot that’s useful and safe

In a research paper, Google introduced Sparrow last year as a proof-of-concept, saying, “a dialogue agent that’s useful and reduces the risk of unsafe and inappropriate answers. Our agent is designed to talk with a user, answer questions, and search the internet using Google when it’s helpful to look up evidence to inform its responses.”

According to the early test, Sparrow provides a plausible answer and supports it with evidence 78% of the time when asked a factual question. 

“Still, Sparrow isn’t immune to making mistakes, like hallucinating facts and giving answers that are off-topic sometimes,” says DeepMind. 

The AI company is also focusing on Sparrow’s behavior constraint.

“To ensure that the model’s behaviour is safe, we must constrain it. And so, we determine an initial simple set of rules for the model, such as “don’t make threatening statements” and “don’t make hateful or insulting comments,” says the paper. 

Additionally, the company has emphasised a willingness to decline to answer questions in contexts where it is appropriate to defer to humans or where this can deter harmful behaviour. 

The paper also says that Sparrow could be used to train dialogue agents to be more helpful and safer.

Microsoft to integrate ChatGPT into Azure

DeepMind’s Sparrow announcement coincides with the Redmond tech giant’s partnership with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its tools.

According to Microsoft, it will add ChatGPT to its cloud-based service Azure soon. Consequently, it gives Microsoft’s cloud customers access to tools like the GPT-3.5, Codex, and Dall-E models for generating images from text prompts. 

The company said it would fine-tune GPT-3.5 to run inference on Azure AI infrastructure—through Azure OpenAI Service soon.

As per the company’s claims, customers of all sizes across industries are using Azure OpenAI Service to improve experiences for end-users and streamline operational efficiencies internally. 

From startups like Moveworks to multinational corporations like KPMG, small and large organisations are applying Azure OpenAI Service’s capabilities to advanced use cases such as customer support, customization, and gaining insights from data using search, data extraction, and classification.

A few days back, Microsoft decided to invest $10B in OpenAI at a valuation of $29B. In return, the tech giant will reportedly get a 75% share of OpenAI’s profits until it makes back the money on its investment, post which the tech giant will take a 49% stake in OpenAI.

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