Is Google Bard AI Free? How much does it cost? A friendly guide to what we know so far

The talk of the town in technology right now is Google Bard – Google‘s new AI chatbot aiming to compete with ChatGPT and revolutionize how we interact with information. Since the announcement, one burning question has been on everyone‘s mind – will we have to pay to use Bard or will Google make it free?

As an AI enthusiast, I‘ve done some digging to piece together an insider‘s perspective on what we know so far about Bard‘s pricing and availability. Let‘s explore the key facts together!

Quick Takeaways:

  • Bard isn‘t publicly available yet, but is likely to have a free version
  • Potential pricing speculation ranges from $10-$100 monthly based on use case
  • More advanced features could come at a premium cost
  • Google will probably subsidize costs to drive adoption compared to ChatGPT
  • Signing up on the waitlist now is the best way to get access

Will Google Bard be free to use?

This is the million dollar question! While Google hasn‘t confirmed their monetization plans yet, I‘d bet we‘ll see both free and paid versions of Bard.

Google‘s business model has thrived by keeping core services like Search, Gmail, YouTube free to drive massive adoption. They monetize usage through relevant advertising. I‘d expect them to take a similar approach with Bard to get as many people using it as possible.

For context, Statista estimates 3.5 billion people use Google services like Search and Maps. Bard gives Google immense opportunities to further monetize this massive audience through ads and data.

That said, certain more advanced features will likely be paid to enable premium experiences. For example, ChatGPT has a $20 per month Pro plan for faster responses. Google will probably take a similar tiered approach. But cost-conscious users will still have free access to the core Bard experience.

How much could paid versions of Bard cost?

While we can only speculate for now, if we look at similar AI services, we can expect:

  • Bard‘s free tier may have limits like ChatGPT‘s 100 messages per month. Removing limits could cost around $10-20 monthly.
  • API access for developers could follow GPT-3‘s pricing model starting at $0.002 per 1000 tokens.
  • Enterprise-grade Bard for businesses may cost more, potentially $40-100 per user depending on capabilities.
  • Add-ons like higher speed or custom functions could start around $5 per feature. Access to more powerful AI models as they develop could cost $100+.

According to reports by McKinsey and PwC, companies are willing to pay for conversational AI. One survey found 52% of executives are very or critically concerned with cost of AI systems, suggesting opportunity for premium pricing.

So in summary, while baseline access may be free, power users could pay anywhere from $10 to $100+ depending on their needs. But Google may subsidize more generously than ChatGPT given their ad-driven model.

What cool features will Bard actually have?

Based on demos so far, key capabilities look similar to ChatGPT:

  • Conversational abilities – Bard can engage in detailed, contextual dialogues.
  • Current events/topics knowledge – Bard is likely trained on more recent data vs ChatGPT‘s 2021 cut-off.
  • Search integration – Leveraging Google‘s index could allow for more comprehensive results.
  • Content creation – Bard can generate text, code, poetry based on prompts, not just Q&A.
  • Smart, nuanced responses – Bard aims for thoughtful accuracy powered by advances like LaMDA.

We still have to wait and see what Google shows us when launch comes closer. But the core value proposition of conversational AI is clear – Bard aims to provide helpful information and creative content on demand through natural dialogue.

How do I get access to Bard as soon as possible?

Right now, access is limited to select beta testers only. The best way to get early access is to sign up on the official Bard waitlist.

Once released publicly, Bard will likely be available through integration into Google Search and other Google apps. You may need a Google account to sign in and access Bard, similar to their other services.

My friendly advice – go sign up on that waitlist if you haven‘t already! It should only take a minute and Google says they‘ll provide updates as the release gets closer. Getting your name on the list now is your best shot at being among the first to experience this exciting new AI capability from Google.

The world of conversational AI is advancing rapidly. As more chatbots like Bard enter the market, competition will drive innovation and value. I hope this breakdown gives you a head start on understanding what we can expect from Google Bard in terms of availability, pricing and features. The future is looking very promising!

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