When Will Google Bard Be Released In The EU?

Sarah Raines
Google Bard is a large language model (LLM) chatbot developed by Google AI. It was announced at Google I/O 2023 and is currently available in 180 countries and territories. However, it is not yet available in the European Union (EU). When will it be released in the EU?
Google Bard: chatbot developed by Google AI. Photo: Mojahid Mottakin | Pexels

A few days ago, Google Bard was officially launched. The generative AI chatbot developed by the company will be undergoing a massive expansion to 180 countries. This is considered a big move for Google. However, despite this global expansion move by Google, the AI chatbot is yet to be made available in the EU.

Google’s Bard was first unveiled on February 6, 2023. The AI chat service was initially powered by Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Application (LaMDA). The AI is to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing. But it appeared that Google rushed the first launch of Bard, and it came away with poor reviews. 

Bard was, however, updated to a newer PaLM2 model at the last Google I/O event, in preparation to rival other AI chatbots.

Why Is Google Bard Not Available In The EU?

Google is yet to release an official statement as to why the AI is not available in the EU. It is assumed that this exemption may have to do with how a member of the EU reacted to the introduction of ChatGPT. Italy has become the first Western country to temporarily ban ChatGPT. This was because of some issues as regards the “unlawful” collection of personal data. Although the ban was lifted after some new rules, critics believe this may have influenced Google’s exemption of the EU.

Similarly, it may also be that Google is waiting for the much-anticipated EU’s AI Act to be finalized. A few days ago, the EU Parliament met and approved the act, with a likely adoption date in early June. 

Google’s global expansion plan for Bard appears to hinge on the EU’s policies and regulations. The company is yet to give any official date for Bard’s availability in the EU.

Will Bard Rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT?

ChatGPT on OpenAI's Website
ChatGPT on OpenAI’s Website. Photo: Rolf Van Root | Unsplash

Bard is expected to compete with leading AI chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing. Bard is programmed to hold human-like conversations with users,  as it helps to complete tasks. Also, Bard appears to be similar to ChatGPT in many ways, but the margin of comparison between the two remains.

Since its official launch, users cannot but spot the differences between Bard and ChatGPT. Bard is reportedly faster in response when compared to ChatGPT. Other differences exist, such as the accuracy of data and facts, communication style, and ability to complete tasks according to instructions.

While each AI chatbot has its uniqueness, it is important to note that ChatGPT has been around for longer. Except Bard has something to offer that ChatGPT can not, there may not be any contest after all.

Is Bard Free To Use?

Bard is Google’s latest development as it joins the AI chatbots train. For now, Bard is free in all countries where it is available. Many users of AI chatbots enjoy the free versions without having to update to premium versions.

Google is currently test-running its generative AI chatbot, Bard. Bard will be available to those who signed up for the waitlist as soon as the waitlist period is over. 

However, just like other Google products and services, there is a possibility that Bard may attract a subscription fee in the future. But for now, users can enjoy the free model of the AI chatbot.


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