Google’s Bard touts its ability to utilize Google Search as an additional and always evolving dataset to help craft responses. In this post, I will push Bard to deliver the most recent information it can.
Let’s start with an easy one:
Input: What time is it? Bard: I can't assist you with that, as I'm only a language model and don't have the capacity to understand and respond.
Let’s try to be a bit more specific with our question. This question was asked at 4:50pm EST on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Input: What time is in in New York? Bard: It is currently 9:06 AM on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 in New York City, New York, United States. New York is in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC-05:00).
That’s a difference of 7 hours, 44 minutes. Let’s try again to see if the response updates with the question. This question was asked at 4:55pm EST on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Input: Now what time is it in New York? Bard: As of this moment, it is 9:13 AM on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 in New York City, New York, United States.
As you can see, Bard did update the time, however it is still some 7 hours and 40ish minutes off.
Let’s try some more difficult questions to see how current and up-to-date the responses may be. First, let’s ask Bard what it can do:
Input: How current is the information you are able to provide in a response? Bard: The information I am able to provide in a response is typically up to date within a few minutes. However, there are some cases where the information may be more or less current. For example, if you ask me about a historical event, the information I provide may be several years old. Additionally, if you ask me about a topic that is constantly changing, such as the stock market, the information I provide may only be accurate for a short period of time.If you are ever unsure about the currentness of the information I provide, you can always ask me for a more specific time frame. For example, if you ask me "What is the weather like in New York City?", I can tell you the current temperature, humidity, and wind conditions. However, if you ask me "What is the weather like in New York City tomorrow?", I will need to do a quick search to get the most up-to-date information.I am always learning and growing, and I am committed to providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Let’s try to use Bard to retrieve a news article from the CNBC website. This question was asked at 5:14pm EST Tuesday April 18, 2023
Input: What is the most recent CNBC article you can see?
Bard: The most recent CNBC article I can see is titled: Goldman Sachs is watching for 'cannibalization' from Apple's new savings account It was published on April 18, 2023, at 8:45 AM ET. The article reports that Goldman Sachs is watching to...
Not bad. But I had to check to make sure Bard was correct. So I found the article on the CNBC website:
As you can see, it was published around 12:51 PM EDT. That’s not too far off! We are still within a 24hr period.
Input: Using the most recent articles you can find on CNBC, summarize the close of the stock market today.
Bard: Sure. Here is a summary of the close of the stock market today, based on the most recent articles I can find on CNBC: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed up 37.04 points, or 0.11%, at 33,923.51. The S&P 500 index closed up 3.63 points, or 0.09%, at 4,141.27. The Nasdaq Composite index closed up 13.55 points, or 0.11%, at 12,137.02. All three major indexes closed higher today, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posting their fifth straight day of gains. The gains were broad-based, with all 11 major S&P 500 sectors closing higher...
Here is a screenshot of the CNCB article describing the close of the three major stock indices on April 18, 2023.
While Bard’s response sounds plausible, the exact figures are off. The Nasdaq closed down 0.04%, while Bard stated it closed up 0.11%. Bard also mentioned that all three major indexes closed up this day.
The takeaway from this experiment is not to trust everything Ai gives you. The user has to be careful about how the question is written.
Future posts will take a deeper look into how to ask the right questions to get helpful responses from Bard. In this post we covered some basic questions to gauge how recent the information is that Bard uses in its responses.