Earlier this year, Google unveiled AI Test Kitchen — an Android app that lets users talk to one of its most advanced AI chatbots, LaMDA 2. Today, the company is opening up registrations for early access. You can sign up here, and Google says it will soon be letting people download the app and start chatting. (Though it’s limited to US users right now.)
It’s interesting, considering that Meta made an almost identical move just earlier this month, opening up its latest and greatest AI chatbot, BlenderBot 3, for public consumption. Of course, people quickly found that they could get BlenderBot to say creepy or untruthful things (or even criticize the bot’s nominal boss, Mark Zuckerberg), but that’s kind of the whole point of releasing these demos.
As Mary Williamson, a research engineering manager at Facebook AI Research (FAIR), told me at the beginning of the month, many companies don’t like to test their chatbots in the wild because what they say will be damaging to the company, as with Microsoft’s Tay. But for many researchers, the best way to improve these same bots is to throw them into the public arena, where the chattering populace will stress-test and manipulate them in ways no fair-minded engineer would dream of.
“This lack of tolerance for bots saying unhelpful things, in the broad sense of it, is unfortunate,” said Williamson. “And what we’re trying to do is release this very responsibly and push the research forward.”