My Life and Times with Bard

Yesterday I initiated a second conversation with Google’s new chatBot, Bard. I wanted to get Bard’s opinion on the argument Ivan Karamazov was making in The Grand Inquisitor episode in Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. Bard was somewhat helpful in its responses, but made two statements that were inconsistent with each other. I pointed this out and asked Bard how it could reconcile them. I expected that Bard might try to slither around my question the way politicians do when they are overcome by a strong urge to change the subject. Instead, Bard, replied, “I apologize if my previous statements were contradictory. I am still under development and learning to communicate more clearly.” I immediately felt empathy toward Bard and wondered if I’d been overly judgmental. There’s seems to be a natural tendency to anthropomorphize an entity that talks as much like a human as Bard does. Next time I’ll try to access Open A.I.’s ChatBotGPT. Don’t tell Bard about this. I don’t want to hurt its feelings.