C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
- Reports from inside Google suggests employees are quite unhappy with the rollout of Google Bard, its ChatGPT-like AI.
- The employees feel like the announcement was rushed and blame Sundar Pichai.
- Employees are also quick to note that company-wide layoffs don’t paint a good picture of what’s happening behind the scenes.
On Monday, Google rolled out its first consumer-level AI-based chatbot, known as Google Bard. This announcement came just weeks after reports of heavy turmoil within Google, which included CEO Sundar Pichai calling “code red” meetings. The company also just concluded a massive round of layoffs.
Now, a report from CNBC suggests that Google employees — affectionately called “Googlers” — are not happy with the timing of Bard’s rollout. An internal message board used by Googlers is allegedly filled with memes criticizing Google, Pichai, the Bard rollout, the layoffs, and more.
“Dear Sundar, the Bard launch and the layoffs were rushed, botched, and myopic,” read one meme that allegedly included a picture of Pichai. “Please return to taking a long-term outlook.”
However, this is not just employees being upset about the layoffs. While Bard is a significant step for Google and could represent the future of its Search business, employees don’t think it’s ready for primetime. Earlier this week, it came to light that Bard’s response to a question in Google’s own example of the technology included factually inaccurate information. Shortly thereafter, Google’s stock plummeted by over 8% and is down by 9% at the moment.
“Rushing Bard to market in a panic validated the market’s fear about us,” one meme read. The text appeared over a photo of a facepalming bird.
Google’s rush to get Bard out of the gate is due to threats on all sides. ChatGPT itself already has over 100 million users, making it one of the fastest-growing services ever. Meanwhile, Microsoft is incorporating ChatGPT-like programs into its search engine Bing and its browser Edge, and also promises AI is coming to its suite of Office apps. Google is stuck in a corner, and Pichai knows it needs to get something out now and stem the tide.
When you combine the layoffs, the factually inaccurate Google Bard announcement, and the competition, Google is in a tough spot. But it sounds like Googlers aren’t happy with the decisions the company is making in response to these issues.
This feeling is summarized by one alleged Googler meme: an image of a dumpster fire with the Google “G” logo on it. The text said, “How everything’s felt since last year.”