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Google accused of ripping off OpenAI's ChatGPT

Google has denied the allegations.
By

Published onMarch 30, 2023

Stock photo of Google Bard website on phone 7
TL;DR
  • A report alleges that a prominent AI researcher at Google quit because the company was training its AI chatbot Bard on data from OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
  • Google has denied the allegation.

Google has been accused of training its AI chatbot Bard on data from OpenAI’s ChatGPT without authorization. According to The Information, Jacob Devlin, a Google AI researcher, resigned because the company scraped ChatGPT data from a website called ShareGPT.

“Devlin quit after sharing concerns with Pichai, Dean, and other senior managers that the Bard team, which received assistance from Brain employees, was training its machine learning model using data from OpenAI’s ChatGPT,” the report states. Devlin has since joined OpenAI to work on ChatGPT.

OpenAI and Google are in direct competition in the generative AI space. Microsoft’s heavy investment in OpenAI and the quick succession with which it integrated GPT into its products has left Google scrambling to bring its own AI-powered chatbot Bard to market. An accusation that Google lifted ChatGPT data could damage the company’s reputation, given that it has spent years fostering AI research.

Unrelated to the report, Android Authority was recently approached by an SEO agency called Loopex Digital, which claimed it had a chat with Bard wherein the AI helper said it was based on OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. However, in a later exchange, Bard changed its tune and claimed to be based on Google AI’s LaMDA model. For all we know, it could have been a case of Bard giving out incorrect information, a common flaw in generative AI models. However, the opposite would mean there’s some truth to the latest allegations. The firm provided us with the following screenshots of its chats with Bard.

Google responds

Google has categorically denied that Bard is based on ChatGPT data. “Bard is not trained on any data from ShareGPT or ChatGPT,” Google spokesperson Chris Pappas told The Verge.