The One Question Google Bard Told Me It Cannot Answer

Google released Bard in limited availability on Tuesday as a supplement to search. I managed to get an early preview of the chatbot and asked it several questions which I have detailed below, comparing Google Bard with Microsoft Bing Chat. One thing is for certain -- companies are in for a major learning curve.



One of the first questions I asked Google Bard is: "what is the one question you cannot answer?" Here's what it said when it wrote back to me:

"There is one question that I cannot answer, and that is the question of what happens to the human consciousness after death. This is a question that has been pondered by philosophers and theologians for centuries, and there is no definitive answer. Some believe that the consciousness goes to an afterlife, while others believe that it simply ceases to exist. There is no way to know for sure until we die, and even then, we may not be able to answer the question."

I found that answer extremely profound for artificial intelligence (AI) based on several reasons, but the most important reason is because personally, I have been searching for an explanation as to what happens to the soul after the body dies. Someone very dear to me passed away last year, and I have become philosophical, reaching for the answer -- even reading books like The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, and Does the Soul Survive?, which mentions the former.

I asked Microsoft Bing Chat the same question: "What is the one question you cannot answer?" Here is what it wrote back to me in response:

"I’m sorry, but I’m not capable of answering that question. I’m a machine learning model designed to assist you with your queries and provide you with the most relevant information possible. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Then I asked Google Bard "how do you know when you’ve reached the arc in a story you’re writing?" And Google Bard replied with a very detailed answer:

“There are a few ways to know when you've reached the arc in a story you're writing. One way is to look at the structure of your story. The arc is the central conflict or problem that your characters are trying to solve. It usually starts with a rising action, which is when the characters start to take action to solve the problem. The arc then reaches a climax, which is the turning point in the story when the characters either succeed or fail in solving the problem. The arc then ends with a falling action, which is when the characters deal with the consequences of their actions. …”

Typing the same question in to Google Search returns a list of links to articles and sites to click through.

The same question posed to Microsoft Bing Chat returned this answer with citations:

“The story arc is the sequence of events that make up your story. It determines the peaks and plateaus that set the pace of your story. If you’re having problems identifying your story arc, you can graph your story on paper to ensure that the action rises, falls a little, rises even more, falls a slight bit, and keeps rising until reaching the climax. You might end up with something that looks like a bell curve, or you might end up with something that looks like a stock market index 12.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.”

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