Generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Bing Chat and Google Bard continue to iterate and improve, and Google's smart assistant is the latest to get a feature update – it can now respond to you in real time, if you want it to.
Before now, Bard has always taken the time to compose its responses in full, before putting them on screen. That's in contrast to ChatGPT and Bing Chat, which output text in real time while the answer is still being worked on.
Now, Google Bard will do that as well, by default. The update was spotted by 9to5Google, and we've seen it for ourselves too, though Bard's changelog hasn't yet been updated to reflect the different approach.
You should see a message on screen when you load up Bard on the web after the change has been applied. If you want to go back to the old way of working, you need to click the cog icon in the top right-hand corner, then choose Respond once complete.
Still the same bot
This change is really just a cosmetic one: there's no difference when it comes to the answers you're actually getting out of the AI behind Google Bard. However, the real time response does have more of a human feel to it – even if it's still the same bot.
With Bard now working in this way, it also means you can cut off the response before it's finished – maybe if you've phrased the prompt or question wrong for example, or if you can see that Bard isn't answering in the right way.
It's interesting that Bard is now copying the way that ChatGPT and Bing Chat (powered by ChatGPT) have always worked, though ultimately these AI engines are going to be judged based on the quality of their responses rather than how they answer.
As before, when Google Bard has finished responding, you can view alternative responses via the View other drafts link to the top right. You can also click the sliders button at the bottom to tweak the response (making it shorter or simpler, for example).