June 3, 2023
Alphabet to unveil A.I. updates at Google I/O, showing off creative writing and coding capabilities
Google's hefty investments in artificial intelligence will be on display at its annual developer conference this week.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Artificial intelligence is going to be a central theme at Google’s annual developer conference on Wednesday, as the company is planning to announce a number of generative AI updates, including launching a general-use large language model (LLM), CNBC has learned.

According to internal documents about Google I/O viewed by CNBC, the company will unveil PaLM 2, its most recent and advanced LLM. PaLM 2 includes more than 100 languages and has been operating under the internal codename “Unified Language Model.” It’s also performed a broad range of coding and math tests as well as creative writing tests and analysis.

At the event, Google will make announcements on the theme of how AI is “helping people reach their full potential,” including “generative experiences” to Bard and Search, the documents show. Pichai will be speaking to a live crowd of developers as he pitches his company’s AI advancements.

The updates come as competition ramps up in the AI arm’s race, with Google and Microsoft racing to incorporate chat AI technology into their products. Microsoft is using its investment in ChatGPT creator OpenAI to bolster its Bing search engine, while Google has quickly mobilized to try and incorporate its Bard technology and its own LLM across various teams.

Google first announced the PaLM language model in April of 2022. In March of this year, the company launched an API for PaLM alongside a number of AI enterprise tools it says will help businesses “generate text, images, code, videos, audio, and more from simple natural language prompts.” 

Last month, Google said its medical LLM called “Med-PaLM 2” can answer medical exam questions at an “expert doctor level” and is accurate 85% of the time.

Google also plans to share advancements to Bard and Search with “generative experiences,” including Bard being used for coding, math and “logic” as well as expansions to Japanese and Korean languages, the documents show.

The company has been working on a series of more powerful Bard models, and officially launched the tool as an experiment in March.

Internally, the company has worked on a multi-modal version called “Multi-Bard,” which uses a larger data set and solves complex math and coding programs, according to separate documentation viewed by CNBC. The company has also tested versions called “Big Bard” and “Giant Bard.”

Google also plans on expanding on its “Workspace AI collaborator,” including discussing template generation in Sheets and image generation in its Slides and Meet products. In March, the company said it would be giving access to AI capabilities in Gmail and Google Docs to a small number of users as part of a test, with plans to bring additional generative AI features to its Meet, Sheets and Slides applications.

One image, viewed by CNBC, showed a Slides sidebar with a chat box that allowed a user to enter text with the option to “create” an image based on the words.

Additional updates include use cases to image recognition tool Google Lens. The company will show advancements to “multi-search” for camera and voice, after last year allowing users to ask questions about what they’re viewing in images.

Outside of the AI sphere, Google will show off its new foldable phone, The Pixel Fold, as CNBC previously reported. The company claims the Pixel Fold will have “the most durable hinge on a foldable” phone and will offer a phone trade-in option. Google plans to market the Pixel Fold as water-resistant and pocket-sized.

A Google spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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