Bard, Google’s nascent AI chat system, is still evolving but some insights are already available for local businesses that may interact with it in future. A chat with the AI on the best tacos in Novato, California, reveals that the system is a long way from Google search in local terms, with users having to specify their location to get accurate results. Moreover, Bard’s picks were only 50% correct when compared with Google Maps’ location finder rankings. Businesses stand to gain from Bard by keeping their Google business profile complete and accurate with positive reviews and responsive fixes to negative feedback. Businesses that encouraged customers to review them on Yelp, however, would not be in line with Yelp’s policies, running the risk of negative consequences from bad publicity. Bard’s responses sometimes turned out to be misleading and had to be treated with a degree of caution, highlighting the need for further technological evolution.
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