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Google Bard's Potential Paid Upgrade Looms

Unveiling Google's Monetization Strategy for Bard Advanced

NEWS  Google  January 5, 2024  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

Google Bard, the tech giant's response to OpenAI's ChatGPT, is set to undergo a significant transformation with the potential introduction of a paid upgrade. Launched as a quick reaction to OpenAI's state-of-the-art language model, Bard has been steadily improving. However, the absence of advertisements in the model, unlike Google's search engine, has raised the question of how the company plans to monetize this service. Recent findings hidden within the Bard website suggest that Google might be gearing up to unveil its paid offering, Bard Advanced.

As discovered by @bedros_p on X and subsequently confirmed through independent research, snippets of code within the Bard website reveal Google's plans for the most advanced version of its chatbot to date. Strings embedded in the code suggest that users will be offered a trial period with "Try Bard Advanced for 3 months, on us". Post this trial period, it appears that a subscription fee may be implemented for continued access to the advanced features.

Further investigation into the code indicates a defunct link, pointing towards the possibility that Bard Advanced could be integrated with Google One. However, the details remain unclear, leaving questions about whether Bard Advanced will be accessible across all Google One tiers or reserved for the more expensive plans that offer additional Google Drive storage. It is also plausible that Bard Advanced could be introduced as a distinct tier within Google One.

According to Google's December announcement, Bard Advanced is expected to make its debut early this year. Preliminary pricing details and promotional information already present in the code hint at an imminent release. Google's ongoing testing of Bard Advanced with a select group of users suggests that the discovered code snippets might be part of the testing environment, potentially signaling an upcoming public release.

Recognizing the energy and server infrastructure demands of running large language models, Google's conventional ad-based approach appears ineffective for LLMs. Consequently, the swift move towards a paid tier for Bard Advanced seems to be a strategic attempt to offset operational costs and establish a foothold in the growing market for advanced conversational AI. This approach aligns with OpenAI's successful foray into paid tiers for its advanced GPT models, indicating a broader industry trend towards monetizing sophisticated language models. 




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