Google Says Bard Won't Link To Sources Too Often

Mar 23, 2023 - 6:51 am 23 by
Filed Under Google

Bot Classrooms Cheating Google

As you know, we've been playing with Google Bard, it just started to roll out a couple of days ago. Early on, we were disappointed thus far with how limited it seemed and more so, how it rarely linked to sources and content creators. Now, Google got back to us on why this is the case.

Google added a few topics to the Bard FAQs, including "How and when does Bard cite sources in its responses?" Let me quote what it says:

Bard, like some other standalone LLM experiences, is intended to generate original content and not replicate existing content at length. We’ve designed our systems to limit the chances of this occurring, and we will continue to improve how these systems function. If Bard does directly quote at length from a webpage, it cites that page.

Bard was built to be a creative and helpful collaborator—it works well in creative tasks like helping you write an email or brainstorm ideas for a birthday party. We see it as a complementary experience to Google Search. That’s why we added the "Google It" button to Bard, so people can easily move from Bard to explore information from across the web.

Bard is an experiment, and we'll use its launch as an opportunity to learn, iterate, and improve the experience as we get feedback from a range of stakeholders including people like you, publishers, creators, and more.

So since Bard "generates original content and not replicate existing content at length," Google does not feel the need to cite sources? Bard will however cite sources and link to them if Bard "directly quotes at length from a webpage."

Instead, Google wants you to go from Bard to Google with the "Google It", "so people can easily move from Bard to explore information from across the web." So click on links from Google Search, do not click on links from Bard, too often.

But things with Bard are early and may change, "Bard is an experiment, and we'll use its launch as an opportunity to learn, iterate, and improve the experience as we get feedback from a range of stakeholders including people like you, publishers, creators, and more."

Honestly, I am shocked, I did not think Google would launch Bard without citing and linking to sources as much as and as well as Bing Chat does. Even Gary Illyes from Google hinted publishers would be okay with it.

Let me show some examples (click on the images to enlarge).

Google Bard on "Who is Barry Schwartz?" - this is not me, this is the famous Barry Schwartz, by the way:

click for full size

No citations with the default response from Google Bard.

But Bing, it gives 15 links to 15 different sources:

click for full size

To be fair, if I work hard, and go to draft two, I get some citations from Google Bard:

click for full size

I posted about this on Twitter and here is some of the response and reaction to Google's FAQ statement on the citation bit:

One shimmer of hope is that if and when Bard is integrated some how into Google Search, those integrations you will see more prominent links to content creators. Via the WSJ, "Sissie Hsiao, a vice president in charge of Google Assistant, said the company “is deeply committed in supporting a healthy and vibrant content ecosystem” and “will be welcoming conversations with stakeholders.” She said when AI tools are integrated into search the company will give priority to sending valuable traffic to content creators. "

So we will see. Until now, prepare to be disappointed with any little traffic you might see from Google Bard.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

 

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