Google can’t wait to compete against ChatGPT and show the world that its conversational AI chatbots can work in commercial products like Google Search. Even if the functionality is limited. And Google is probably not playing catch-up to ChatGPT, as it’s been innovating in the space for years. But Google certainly feels the ChatGPT pressure, and a minor detail in its recent Bard announcement gives it away: The use of iPhone 14 Pro imagery to promote Bard.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday penned a blog post to announce ChatGPT rival Bard. The exec also recapped the AI and language modeling tech that Google developed in recent years. Pichai even implied that generative AI products like ChatGPT are possible because of Google’s work in the field.
Later in the post, Pichai explained how products like Bard can enhance Search results by providing answers to more complex questions that users might ask:
One of the most exciting opportunities is how AI can deepen our understanding of information and turn it into useful knowledge more efficiently — making it easier for people to get to the heart of what they’re looking for and get things done. When people think of Google, they often think of turning to us for quick factual answers, like ‘how many keys does a piano have?’ But increasingly, people are turning to Google for deeper insights and understanding — like, ‘is the piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each need?’ Learning about a topic like this can take a lot of effort to figure out what you really need to know, and people often want to explore a diverse range of opinions or perspectives.
And that’s where the iPhone 14 Pro screenshot comes in. Google used this particular device to highlight what a Bard-powered Search answer would look like. Here’s that image, complete with Google’s caption for the iPhone 14 Pro screenshot:
There’s no doubt the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max screen design is one of the most widely recognizable smartphone designs out there. The Dynamic Island at the top is unique in the space right now. It’s a brilliant way for Apple to turn that cutout into a functional piece of the iPhone.
Google using the iPhone 14 Pro instead of a Pixel 7 design that features the same generic display as any Android is very telling.
Google picked the image on purpose as if it wants to subliminally send the message that Bard will work on all devices, including the highly-coveted iPhone 14 Pro. Then again, that’s the expectation, considering that Bard works inside Search. Like ChatGPT, it should work everywhere.
Or perhaps Google is going for the coolness-by-association factor. It wants potential users to see Bard on the best iPhone model you can get. Let’s remember that Google also needs the massive Search revenue from iPhones. Bard isn’t just about competing against ChatGPT, it’s about fighting against rival AI products across products. That’s why the iPhone is so important.
Pichai’s post has no screenshot of an Android phone running a Bard-powered Search experience, which is also peculiar. It’s akin to all the celebrities tweeting from iPhones to promote an Android smartphone or product. But the difference is that the creator of Android is doing it.
If you only scroll through the CEO’s announcement, you might think this is a product Google made for Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro. But, again, Bard isn’t iPhone-centric. The ChatGPT rival will work in any browser once Google makes it available more widely.