What is Google Bard? Everything you need to know about the ChatGPT rival

Google finally joined the AI race and launched a ChatGPT rival called Bard – an “experimental conversational AI service” earlier this year. Google Bard is an AI-powered chatbot that acts as a poet, a crude mathematician and a even decent conversationalist.

The chatbot is similar to ChatGPT in many ways. It's able to answer complex questions about the universe and give you a deep dive into a range of topics in a conversational, easygoing way. The bot, however, differs from its rival in one crucial respect: it's connected to the web for free, so – according to Google – it gives “fresh, high-quality responses”.

Google Bard is powered by PaLM 2. Like ChatGPT, it's a type of machine learning called a 'large language model' that's been trained on a vast dataset and is capable of understanding human language as it's written.

Who can access Google Bard?

Bard was announced in February 2023 and rolled out for early access the following month. Initially, a limited number of users in the UK and US were granted access from a waitlist. However, at Google I/O – an event where the tech giant dives into updates across its product lines – Bard was made open to the public.

It’s now available in more than 180 countries around the world, including the US and all member states of the European Union. As of July 2023, Bard works with more than 40 languages. You need a Google account to use it, but access to all of Bard’s features is entirely free. Unlike OpenAI’s ChatGPT, there is no paid tier.

The Google Bard chatbot answering a question on a computerscreen

(Image credit: Google)

Opening up chatbots for public testing brings great benefits that Google says it's “excited” about, but also risks that explain why the search giant has been so cautious to release Bard into the wild. The meteoric rise of ChatGPT has, though, seemingly forced its hand and expedited the public launch of Bard.

So what exactly will Google's Bard do for you and how will it compare with ChatGPT, which Microsoft appears to be building into its own search engine, Bing? Here's everything you need to know about it.

What is Google Bard?

Like ChatGPT, Bard is an experimental AI chatbot that's built on deep learning algorithms called 'large language models', in this case one called LaMDA. 

To begin with, Bard was released on a “lightweight model version” of LaMDA. Google says this allowed it to scale the chatbot to more people, as this “much smaller model requires significantly less computing power”.

The Google Bard chatbot answering a question on a phone screen

(Image credit: Google)

At I/O 2023, Google launched PaLM 2, its next-gen language model trained on a wider dataset spanning multiple languages. The model is faster and more efficient than LamDA, and comes in four sizes to suit the needs of different devices and functions.

Google is already training its next language model, Gemini, which we think is one of its most exciting projects of the next 25 years. Built to be multi-modal, Gemini is touted to deliver yet more advancements in the arena of generative chatbots, including features such as memory.

What can Google Bard do?

In short, Bard is a next-gen development of Google Search that could change the way we use search engines and look for information on the web.

Google says that Bard can be “an outlet for creativity” or “a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills”.

Unlike traditional Google Search, Bard draws on information from the web to help it answer more open-ended questions in impressive depth. For example, rather than standard questions like “how many keys does a piano have?”, Bard will be able to give lengthy answers to a more general query like “is the piano or guitar easier to learn”?

The Google Bard chatbot answering a question on a computer screen

An example of the kind or prompt that Google’s Bard will give you an in-depth answer to. (Image credit: Google)

We initially found Bard to fall short in terms of features and performance compared to its competitors. But since its public deployment earlier this year, Google Bard’s toolkit has come on leaps and bounds. 

It can generate code in more than 20 programming languages, help you solve text-based math equations and visualize information by generating charts, either from information you provide or tables it includes in its responses. It’s not foolproof, but it’s certainly a lot more versatile than it was at launch.

Further updates have introduced the ability to listen to Bard’s responses, change their tone using five options (simple, long, short, professional or casual), pin and rename conversations, and even share conversations via a public link. Like ChatGPT, Bard’s responses now appear in real-time, too, so you don’t have to wait for the complete answer to start reading it.

Google Bard marketing image

(Image credit: Google)

Improved citations are meant to address the issue of misinformation and plagiarism. Bard will annotate a line of code or text that needs a citation, then underline the cited part and link to the source material. You can also easily double-check its answers by hitting the ‘Google It’ shortcut.

It works with images as well: you can upload pictures with Google Lens and see Google Search image results in Bard’s responses.

Bard has also been integrated into a range of Google apps and services, allowing you deploy its abilities without leaving what you’re working on. It can work directly with English text in Gmail, Docs and Drive, for example, allowing you to summarize your writing in situ.

Similarly, it can interact with info from the likes of Maps and even YouTube. As of November, Bard now has the limited ability to understand the contents of certain YouTube videos, making it quicker and easier for you to extract the information you need.

What will Google Bard do in future?

A huge new feature coming soon is the ability for Google Bard to create generative images from text. This feature, a collaborative effort between Google and Adobe, will be brought forward by the Content Authenticity Initiative, an open-source Content Credentials technology that will bring transparency to images that are generated through this integration.

The whole project is made possible by Adobe Firefly, a family of creative generative AI models that will make use of Bard's conversational AI service to power text-to-image capabilities. Users can then take these AI-generated images and further edit them in Adobe Express.

Otherwise, expect to see Bard support more languages and integrations with greater accuracy and efficiency, as Google continues to train its ability to generate responses.

Google Bard vs ChatGPT: what’s the difference?

Fundamentally the chatbot is based on similar technology to ChatGPT, with even more tools and features coming that will close the gap between Google Bard and ChatGPT.

Both Bard and ChatGPT are chatbots that are built on 'large language models', which are machine learning algorithms that have a wide range of talents including text generation, translation, and answering prompts based on the vast datasets that they've been trained on.

A laptop screen showing the landing page for ChatGPT Plus

(Image credit: OpenAI)

The two chatbots, or “experimental conversational AI service” as Google calls Bard, are also fine-tuned using human interactions to guide them towards desirable responses. 

One difference between the two, though, is that the free version of ChatGPT isn't connected to the internet – unless you use a third-party plugin. That means it has a very limited knowledge of facts or events after January 2022. 

If you want ChatGPT to search the web for answers in real time, you currently need to join the waitlist for ChatGPT Plus, a paid tier which costs $ 20 a month. Besides the more advanced GPT-4 model, subscribers can use Browse with Bing. OpenAI has said that all users will get access “soon”, but hasn't indicated a specific date.

Bard, on the other hand, is free to use and features web connectivity as standard. As well as the product integrations mentioned above, Google is also working on Search Generative Experience, which builds Bard directly into Google Search.

Does Google Bard only do text answers?

Until recently Google's Bard initially only answered text prompts with its own written replies, similar to ChatGPT. But one of the biggest changes to Bard is its multimodal functionality. This allows the chatbot to answer user prompts and questions with both text and images.

Users can also do the same, with Bard able to work with Google Lens to have images uploaded into Bard and Bard responding in text. Multimodal functionality is a feature that was hinted at for both GPT-4 and Bing Chat, and now Google Bard users can actually use it. And of course, we also have Google Bard's Adobe-powered AI image generator, which will be powered by Adobe Firefly.

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Google Bard can now watch YouTube videos for you (sort of)

Google has bolstered the powers of Bard AI regarding YouTube videos, with the AI now capable of tapping into a better level of understanding such content.

Google posted about the latest update for Bard and how these are the ‘first steps’ in allowing the AI to understand YouTube videos, and pull out relevant info from a clip as requested.

The example given is that you’re hunting out a YouTube explainer on how to bake a certain cake, and you can ask Bard how many eggs are required for the recipe in the video that pops up.

Bard is capable of taking in the whole video and summarizing it, or you can ask the AI specific questions as mentioned, with the new feature enabling the user to have ‘richer conversations’ with Bard on any given clip.

Another recent update for Bard improved its maths powers, specifically for equations and helping you solve tricky ones – complete with straightforward step-by-step explanations (just in English to begin with). Those equations can be typed in or supplied to Bard via an uploaded image.

Analysis: YouTube viewing companion

These are some useful new abilities, particularly the addition for YouTube, which builds on Google’s existing extensions for Bard that hook up to the company’s services including the video platform.

It’s going to be pretty handy to have Bard instantly pull up relevant details such as the mentioned quantities for recipes. Or indeed specifics you can’t recall when having just watched a video, to save you having to rewind back through to try and find those details.

The maths and equation-related skills are going to be a boon, too. The broad idea here is not just to show a solution, but teach how that solution was arrived at, thus equipping you to deal with other similar problems down the line.

Via Neowin

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Google Bard can now respond to your AI queries in real time, like ChatGPT

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).

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Galaxy S24, S23, and Pixel phones could be first in line for Assistant with Bard

At the same time as launching the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Watch 2 last week, Google also unveiled its new AI-powered Assistant with Bard tool – and now we've got a better idea of which phones might be getting the app first.

The team at 9to5Google has dug into the latest Google app for Android to look for references to Assistant with Bard, and based on hidden code that's been uncovered, it looks as though the Pixel 8 and Samsung Galaxy S24 phones will be first in line.

With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro shipping tomorrow, it seems likely that users of these phones will be able to try Assistant with Bard before anyone else – and Google intimated as much when it announced the AI bot. The Samsung Galaxy S24 isn't due to launch until January or February next year.

However, Google has also gone on record as saying Assistant with Bard will be available to “select testers” to begin with, before more people get it over the “next few months”. In other words, even if you've got a Pixel 8, you might be waiting a while.

Coming soon

After Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 owners have had a good play around with everything that Assistant with Bard has to offer, 9to5Google suggests that the Pixel 6, Pixel 7, and Galaxy S23 handsets will be the next to receive the upgrade.

Some example queries have also been found in the Google app code, including “help explain in a kid-friendly way why rainbows appear” and “give me some ideas to surprise my concert-loving friend on their birthday”.

Those lines will be familiar to anyone who's already played around with the generative AI in Google Bard: like ChatGPT, it can write poetry, reports, emails, and much more, as well as coming up with ideas and explaining difficult topics.

Assistant with Bard adds all that to what we already have in Google Assistant: answering questions, controlling smart lights, finding out what the weather's doing, and so on. It could soon be the most powerful Google app on your phone.

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Google Bard update reveals a more powerful AI – but it might scare privacy purists

Google has built a new model for Bard which it is calling the most capable iteration of the AI yet.

Google provided an update on the new version of Bard which it calls “more intuitive, imaginative and responsive than ever before,” offering greater levels of quality and accuracy in the chatbot’s responses.

A whole bunch of new features have been brought into the mix for Bard, and that starts with support for 40+ languages, and some tight integration with existing Google products elsewhere.

That includes giving Bard the ability to get its hooks into your emails in Gmail, and data in Google Drive and Docs, meaning you can get the AI to find info across your various files, or indeed summarize a piece of content if needed.

Bard will also be able to pull data in real-time as needed from Google Maps, Google’s travel features (hotels and flights), and YouTube, all of which will be extensions that are enabled by default (you can disable them if you wish, but they’re switched on by default in the new Bard).

Another big move here is the ability to check Bard’s answers. Not too sure about any given response from the AI? A ‘Google It’ button can be clicked to bring up additional info around any query, which is drawn from Google search (where supported), so you can check for yourself to see if there’s any doubt, or difference of opinion, elsewhere online compared to what Bard is telling you.

A further fresh introduction gives Bard users the ability to share a conversation via a public link, allowing others to continue that conversation with Google’s AI themselves, should they wish.

Analysis: The distant but distinct sound of alarm bells

This is indeed a major update for Bard, and there are some useful elements in here for sure. Better quality and accuracy, and the ability to check Bard’s responses, are obviously welcome features.

Some other stuff will set some alarm bells ringing for folks, particularly the more privacy-conscious out there. Do you really want Bard’s tendrils snaking into every corner of your Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail? Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a scenario of a nightmarish overreach from the AI?

Well, Google is pretty careful here to clarify that your personal data absolutely isn’t being hoovered up to train Bard in any way. As the company puts it: “Your Google Workspace data won’t be used to train Bard’s public model and you can disable access to it at any time.”

So, the only use of the data will be to furnish you with convenient replies to queries, and that could be pretty handy. Know you’ve got a document somewhere on a certain topic, but can’t remember where it is in your Google account, or what it’s called? You should be able to prompt Bard to find it for you.

Don’t like the idea of Bard accessing your stuff in any way, shape, or form? Then you don’t have to use these abilities, they can be switched off (and the mentioned extensions don’t have to be enabled). Indeed, whatever assurances Google makes about Bard not snuffling around in your data for its own purposes, there will be folks immediately reaching for the ‘off’ switch in these cases, you can absolutely bank on it.

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Google Bard content should be fact-checked, recommends current Google VP

If you need any more reason to be skeptical of generative AI, look no further than a recent BBC interview with Debbie Weinstein, Vice President of Google UK. She recommends people use Google Search to fact-check content generated by the Bard AI.

Weinstein says in the interview that Bard should be considered more of an “experiment” better suited for “collaboration around problem solving” and “creating new ideas”. It seems like Google didn’t really intend for the AI to be used as a resource for “specific information”. Besides fact-checking any information offered by Bard, she suggests using the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons at the bottom of generated content to give feedback to improve the chatbot. As the BBC points out, Bard’s homepage states “it has limitations and won’t always get it right, but doesn’t repeat Ms. Weinstein’s advice” to double-check results via Google Search.

On one hand, Debbie Weinstein is giving some sound advice. Generative AIs have a massive problem when it comes to getting things right. They hallucinate, meaning that a chatbot may come up with totally false information when generating text that fits a prompt. This issue has even gotten two lawyers from New York in trouble as they used ChatGPT in a case and presenting “fictitious legal research” that the AI cited.

So it's certainly not a bad idea to double-check whatever Bard says. However, considering these comments are coming from a vice president of the company, it's a little concerning.

Analysis: So, what's the point?

The thing is Bard is essentially a fancy search engine. One of its main function is be “a launchpad for curiosity”; a resource for factual information. The main difference between Bard and Google Search is the former is relatively easier to use. It's a lot more conversational, plus the AI offers important context. Whether Google likes it or not, people are going to be using Bard for looking up stuff. 

What’s particularly strange about Weinstein’s comments is it contradicts with the company's plans for Bard. During I/O 2023, we saw all the different ways the AI model could enhance Google Search from providing in-depth results on a topic to even creating a fitness plan. Both of these use cases and more require factual information to work. Is Weinstein saying this update is all for naught since it uses Google's AI tech?

While it's just one person from Google asserting this on the record (so far), she is a vice president at Google. If you’re not supposed to use the chatbot for important information, then why is  it being added to the search engine as way to further enhance? Why implement something that's apparently untrustworthy?

It’s a strange statement; one that we hope is not echoed throughout the company. Generative AI is here to stay after all, and it’s important that we trust it to output accurate information. We reached out to the tech giant for comment. This story will be updated at a later time.

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Google Bard just got a super-useful Google Lens boost – here’s how to use it

Google Bard is getting update after update as of late, with the newest one being the incorporation of Google Lens – which will allow users to upload images alongside prompts to give Bard additional context.

Google seems to be making quite a point of expanding Bard’s capabilities and giving the chatbot a serious push into the artificial intelligence arena, either by integrating it into other Google products and services or simply improving the standalone chatbot itself.

This latest integration brings Google Lens into the picture, allowing you to upload images to part, identify objects and scenes, provide image descriptions, and search the web for pictures of what you might be looking for.

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Screenshot of Bard

(Image credit: Future)
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Asking Google Bard to show me a kitten

(Image credit: Future)

For example, I asked Bard to show me a photo of a kitten using a scratching post, and it pulled up a photo (accurately cited!) of exactly what I asked for, with a little bit of extra information on why and how cats use scratching posts. I also showed Bard a photo from my phone gallery, and it accurately described the scene and some tidbits of interesting information about rainbows.

Depending on what you ask Bard to do with the image provided, Bard can provide a variety of helpful responses. Since the AI-powered chatbot is mostly a conversational tool, adding as much context as you possibly can will consistently get you the best results, and you can refine its responses with additional prompts as needed. 

If you want to give Bard's new capabilities a try, just head over to the chatbot, click the little icon on the left side of the text box where you would normally type out your prompt, and add any photo you desire to your conversation. 

Including the image update, you can now pin conversation threads, get Bard to read responses out loud in over 40 languages, and get access to easier sharing methods. You can check out the Bard update page for a more detailed explanation of all the new additions.

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Google Bard can now speak loud and clear as update introduces speech feature

Google Bard is saying its first words thanks to a recent update that gives the AI the ability to read out generated responses in over 40 different languages. The newfound language support includes Arabic, Chinese, German, and Spanish.

According to Google, being able to hear text out loud can be helpful in learning the correct pronunciation of words. Activating Bard’s speech tool is pretty simple. All you have to do after entering a prompt is select the sound icon in the upper right-hand corner of a response. In addition to the voice, Google is expanding Bard’s availability to more global regions, most notably Brazil and Europe. It's important to point out the European Union initially forced the tech giant to postpone the chatbot’s launch “over privacy concerns”. But it looks like everything has been squared away with the EU.

Also, users can now adjust the “tone and style of Bard’s responses [across] five different options: simple, long, short, professional, or casual.” Google says this can be helpful in creating marketplace listings for businesses that want to maintain a certain voice. It’s reminiscent of the tone parameters on Microsoft’s SwiftKey app. However, unlike SwiftKey, it doesn’t appear Bard will make any cringe dad jokes if you ask it (shame). 

Productivity boost

There is more to the update than just the language features. Google is also introducing some productivity tools. First, users can now finally pin Bard conversations in case they ever want to revisit them at a later time. If the AI gives you some helpful information, you can share the response with friends via shareable links. The chatbot creates a hyperlink that you can send over a messaging app or you can directly post the URL to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Google is aware that people use “Bard for coding tasks.” To help these programmers, the company is adding a direct to “export Python code to [the] Replit” platform. Lastly, the chatbot is gaining the “capabilities of Google Lens” meaning you’ll be able to “upload images with prompts” to the AI. Bard will then analyze the photograph before providing the information you seek. This last feature can be found behind the Plus symbol next to the Prompt bar.

The addition of Google Lens to Bard is pretty exciting as the chatbot can now serve as a reverse image search engine of sorts.


Most of the update is currently online in the 40 different languages mentioned earlier but with a couple of exceptions. The five tones and Google Lens support can only be found in the English version of Bard. There are plans, however, to “expand to new languages soon.”

Although Google Bard managed to finally debut in the European Union, Canada remains absent from the list of countries supporting the chatbot. VPNs fortunately allow Canadians to bypass the block. If this affects you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best VPN service for Canada in 2023.

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Google changed its privacy policy to reflect Bard AI’s data collecting, and we’re spooked

Google just changed the wording of its privacy policy, and it’s quite an eye-opening adjustment that has been applied to encompass the AI tech the firm is working with.

As TechSpot reports, there’s a section of the privacy policy where Google discusses how it collects information (about you) from publicly accessible sources, and clarifying that, there’s a note that reads: “For example, we may collect information that’s publicly available online or from other public sources to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features, like Google Translate, Bard and Cloud AI capabilities.”

Preivously, that paragraph read that the publicly available info would be used to train “language models” and only mentioned Google Translate.

So, this section has been expanded to make it clear that training is happening with AI models and Bard.

It’s a telling change, and basically points out that anything you post online publicly  may be picked up and used by Google's Bard AI.

Analysis: So what about privacy, plagiarism, and other concerns?

We already knew that Google’s Bard, and indeed Microsoft’s Bing AI for that matter, are essentially giant data hoovers, extracting and crunching online content from all over the web to refine conclusions on every topic under the sun that they might be questioned on.

This change to Google’s privacy policy makes it crystal clear that its AI is operating in this manner, and seeing it in cold, hard, text on the screen, may make some folks step back and question this a bit more.

After all, Google has had Bard out for a while now, so has been working in this manner for some time, and has only just decided to update its policy? That in itself seems pretty sly.

Don’t want stuff you’ve posted online where other people can see it to be used to train Google’s big AI machinery? Well, tough. If it’s out there, it’s fair game, and if you want to argue with Google, good luck with that. Despite the obvious concerns around not just basic privacy issues, but plagiarism (if an AI reply uses content written by others, picked up by Bard’s training) – where do any boundaries lie with the latter? Of course, it’d be impractical (or indeed impossible) to police that anyway.

There are broader issues around accuracy and misinformation when data is scraped from the web in a major-scale fashion, too, of course.

On top of this, there are worries recently expressed by platforms like Reddit and Twitter, with Elon Musk apparently taking a stand against “scraping people’s public Twitter data to build AI models” with those frustrating limitations that have just been brought in (which could be big win for Zuckerberg and Threads, ultimately).

All of this is a huge minefield, really, but the big tech outfits making big strides with their LLM (large language model) data-scraping AIs are simply forging ahead, all eyes on their rivals and the race to establish themselves at the forefront, seemingly with barely a thought about how some of the practical side of this equation will play out.

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Don’t ask ChatGPT or Google Bard for a Windows 11 key – here’s why

There’s been a flurry of reports of ChatGPT and Google Bard providing users with serial keys for Windows 11 (or Windows 10), but as you might guess, these don’t appear to be fully functional (and neither is it a good idea to seek out this method of getting an OS up and running – we’ll come back to why later on).

Neowin reported on some of these incidents, as flagged up on Twitter by Sid, who posted about Windows 10 Pro keys being provided by both ChatGPT (which powers Bing AI) and Google’s Bard chatbot.

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Sid also posted about successfully getting an upgrade from Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro using the same method (which we also witnessed nabbing Windows 7 keys previously, last week – as discovered by Enderman).

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Indeed, we’ve seen a post on Reddit that a code requested for Windows 7 Ultimate actually worked for Windows 11 Pro (add seasoning with all these claims, of course – it’s not hard to find further reports along such lines across various online forums).

Analysis: Don’t be tempted…

So, what’s going on here? For starters, as you can see if you sift through these various threads, a large number of these keys don’t work anyway. However, some folks are having success with at least a small number of the provided serial keys, and they’re getting Windows 10 or 11 to install (or firing up an upgrade to Pro).

The advice given to those who can’t get one to work is simply to keep trying, but even if you do stumble upon one that’s good for starting the installation of the OS, that isn’t the end of the story.

The thing is these appear to be generic installation keys, meaning they allow for installation of a given Windows version, but crucially, not activation. These generic keys are freely available and designed for anyone who wants to, for example, try out an OS on their machine to make sure it works, or get a flavor of it.

In other words, going ahead with the installation (or upgrade process, in some cases) with one of these keys that seems to work at first glance might well end in heartache when you realize it can’t be activated – and you'll eventually have to revert your PC back to how it was. In short, you’ll be going through a lot of hassle for nothing.

What the chatbot is seemingly doing is pulling generic keys off a website somewhere (these aren’t hard to find, all you need to do is a simple web search). As Neowin informs us, when it tried the same stunt, Bard even pointed out that the key was from an old PC (and, amusingly, ChatGPT said that keys were for “personal use only and should not be used for any illegal activities”).

Even if, somehow, one of these keys does work and turns out to be valid for activation – which admittedly there are reports of too (here, have the salt shaker) – we still think that at some point, you’ll inevitably pay the price for circumventing paying for a product, which after all is piracy. Blaming it on a chatbot giving you the code is not going to be a credible defense – you’ve still gone ahead and knowingly done something illegal.

To sum up, then, you’re best off ignoring these whisperings of free serial keys, and we’d be surprised if you got one that works for actual validation (and continues to work going forward – because there are no guarantees with a key obtained via dodgy means). Is it worth living under the shadow of the potential of your OS installation going defunct at some stage down the line thanks to that key? In our book, no, it isn’t – and as we’ve already said, this is illegal, anyway. Steer well clear…

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