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I asked Google’s AI ‘Bard’ to name the greatest UFC fighter in history — its answer may surprise you

Who is the greatest UFC fighter in history?

Ask four different UFC fans and you may get four different answers. Well, it turns out Google’s new artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, “Bard,” is no different. I recently asked my algorithmic sidekick to identify the best to ever do it.

“There is no definitive answer to the question of who is the greatest fighter in UFC history,” it responded. “Ultimately the question is a matter of opinion. There are many factors to consider, such as a fighter’s record, their dominance, their impact on the sport, and their popularity.”

Bard then listed four of the most common fighters included in the “best ever” debate: Former UFC champions Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Khabib Nurmagomedov, along with current UFC titleholder Jon Jones.

But when I tweaked my query from Who is the greatest UFC fighter in history? to Who is the greatest UFC fighter of all time? I only got one response: Georges St-Pierre. Bard also gave me the same spiel about current trends and subjectivity.

I made one final adjustment and asked, “Who is the greatest MMA fighter of all time?”

Once again, I got St-Pierre, Silva, Nurmagomedov, and Jones.

Much like my attempt to have Bard predict the best betting parlay for UFC 287, Google AI can only work with material that already exists and then attempt to Frankenstein together a coherent response, which may or may not include predictive models.

So far it’s proven to be just as divided as the rest of us, at least in terms of the GOAT debate.

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