At Google I/O 2022, Google announced LaMDA 2, the follow-up to its conversational AI system, LaMDA (Language Models for Dialog Applications) that the company introduced last year. And to test it out, it is launching an app called AI Test Kitchen, an interactive hub for AI demos powered by LaMDA 2.
LaMDA is Google’s generative language model for dialogue applications and can ensure that the Assistant would be able to converse on any topic. For instance, at last year’s I/O, Google showcased how the LaMDA-inspired model would allow the Assistant to have a conversation around which shoes to wear while hiking in the snow.
LaMDA 2, an improved version than its predecessor, can understand millions of topics and generate “natural conversations” and claims that LaMDA 2 can break down complex topics into straightforward and simpler explanations and also generate suggestions in response to questions, said Google. Examples come in the form of documents within training datasets, which contain terabytes to petabytes of data scraped from social media, Wikipedia, books, software hosting platforms like GitHub and other sources on the public web.
Through ‘AI Test Kitchen’ app, users can interact with the models in constrained ways, like exploring a particular topic with LaMDA 2 (e.g., dogs) and drilling down into subtopics within that topic (what dogs eat). Google says that it will continue to add “other emerging areas of AI” into AI Test Kitchen, both in the natural language processing domain and beyond it.
AI Test Kitchen is divided into three demos: Imagine it, List it, and Talk About It. Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a demo during an onstage segment of the keynote, where a user asked LaMDA 2 to describe the ‘Marianas Trench’ in a series of questions. The model responded to queries about ‘what creatures might live in the trench’ and others pertaining to topics it hadn’t explicitly been trained to answer, such as submarines and bioluminescence. In another demo, LaMDA 2 provided tips about planting a vegetable garden, offering a list of tasks what might be planted in the garden, like tomatoes, lettuce or garlic, based on the garden location and weather, to name a few.
Pichai acknowledged that models like LaMDA 2 aren’t perfect but emphasised the sophistication of the technology’s high-level capabilities while pledging that work is ongoing to address the shortcomings.
“These experiences show the potential of language models to one day help us with things like planning, learning about the world and more,” Pichai said.
Also read: 5 key announcements from Google I/O 2022
He added, over time, the company intends to “continue adding other emerging areas of AI into our AI Test Kitchen.”
AI Test Kitchen will roll out in the US in the coming months but won’t be available globally now. Google hasn’t fully decided how it will offer access, but according to The Verge, the company is planning to reach out to select academics, researchers and policymakers to begin with.