Google recently “deprioritized” an app called “Bubble Characters,” an AI-powered chatbot designed for Gen Z users, according to a report by CNBC. The project, which had been in development since late 2021, aimed to provide “human-like” conversations with users using advanced language models.
However, Google decided to shift its focus to Bard, a ChatGPT rival launched in February. As a result, some members of the Bubble Characters team were reassigned to work on Bard. It remains unclear whether the project’s discontinuation was influenced by concerns about children’s safety, as Gen Z generally refers to individuals born between 1997 and 2014.
In a letter addressed to tech companies earlier this year, Senator Michael Bennet expressed concerns about the impact of AI-powered chatbots on the well-being and safety of younger users. He emphasized the need to prioritize the preservation of their humanity over the integration of AI into everyday applications.
Despite the setback with Bubble Characters, Google continues to pursue various similar projects. Recently, the company began testing a medical chatbot called Med-PaLM 2 at renowned healthcare institutions like the Mayo Clinic.
While Google has decided to discontinue its development of Bubble Characters, an AI-powered chatbot for Gen Z users, the company remains committed to advancing technology in other areas. As concerns around children’s safety and well-being persist, it is important for tech companies to prioritize ethical practices when integrating AI into everyday applications.