No cap: Google finna yeet mid chatbot focused on Gen Z

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google has reportedly ditched plans for an AI chatbot app for Gen Z users.
  • The app was called Bubble Characters and would’ve seen a character converse with users.
  • It’s believed that some team members were switched to working on Bard ahead of its launch.

Google released its Bard chatbot earlier this year, following in the footsteps of ChatGPT and Bing Chat. Now, it turns out that the company may have quietly dropped plans for a rather peculiar chatbot.

CNBC reports that Google dropped plans for an AI-powered chatbot app focused on Gen Z users, citing internal documents it saw.

The app, called Bubble Characters, featured your choice of a character that would chat with you. It’s believed that the app was in the works since Q4 2021 but that it’s now been “deprioritized.” Several team members were reportedly asked to pause their work on this app in favor of working on Bard ahead of its launch.

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“What started out as something from a science fiction novel, became the next generation of human-level conversation,” read the app’s description, according to CNBC. The description adds that the app offers conversations that are “interesting for Gen Z.” We’re not sure if this refers to the actual topics or the style of speech. Nevertheless, the outlet claims that the chatbot was able to ask follow-up questions and offered relationship advice.

It’s pretty interesting to hear that Google experimented with a light-hearted approach to AI chatbots, even if explicitly targeting Gen Z is cringe-worthy. But you have to assume that the work that goes into Bard would still pay dividends if Google decides to revisit this concept. Then again, you can probably ask Bard to talk to you as if you were a member of Gen Z — you’ll just have to do without the characters.

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