Why does Google Bard have an age restriction?

Why does Google Bard have an age restriction?
Jim Casson Updated on by

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Under 18? You’re Bard.

Let’s take a look at Google’s new AI innovation, Bard, which was released today for testing, and why it’s only accessible to those over 18.

Bard was designed as a ChatGPT rival, with one major difference – our research suggests that it has access to the internet for its information.

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What does internet access have to do with the age restriction?

Bard having access to the internet would mean that it draws from a much wider database than OpenAI’s models for instance which, on the contrary, are monitored and controlled.

This implies that much of the data fed to Bard to train it is actually unmoderated, and potentially inaccurate.

Whilst extensive and educational, the internet is a hotbed of misinformation, which presents the possibility of the AI then redistributing this misinformation.

This is likely a main reason as to why there is an age restriction on the service – to prevent the further spread of misinformation to youths.

This topic is especially prescient at the moment as ChatGPT gains more traction with those in education, raising ethical concerns as to whether AI services should be available to students at all.

Read More: ChatGPT, AI apps and the future: with Dr Matthew Shardlow

Further, our research suggests that there is a much higher chance of Bard responding to users’ inputs with explicit or potentially inappropriate content.

Google acknowledges that this is a possibility, as well as the fact that Bard is an experiment, “has limitations”, and “won’t always get it right.”

Therefore the age restriction is most likely also a safeguarding measure, to ensure Bard’s responses are age-appropriate.

Will Google Bard always have an age restriction?

To further improve and train their new AI platform, Google does ask its users to flag any unsafe or offensive material.

Perhaps as Bard does advance we may see the current age restrictions lift, but right now the platform is only available to those over 18.

It seems then, that the age restriction currently on Bard is in the interest of security and countering the spread of misinformation and/or explicit content.

If you’re interested in getting onto the Bard platform, find out how here:

Google Bard sign up – how to register for early access 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Google Bard?

Bard is Google’s newest AI-assisted search engine, that seems to have access to the internet for its training data. This means the data that informs Bard is constantly re-updated.

Who can access Bard?

Those who have signed up to the early access waitlist, and are over 18 years of age. This is likely a preventative measure against the spread of misinformation or inappropriate content.