Google has made significant improvements to Bard, its exploratory AI chatbot, by connecting it to Google’s collection of applications and services.
The goal is to allow Bard to provide more tailored and useful responses, building on what it can already do.
The new capabilities come from enhancements Google has made to the AI model called PaLM 2 that powers Bard. Taking into account user comments, Google has used reinforcement learning to train the model to be more intuitive.
With the updates, Bard can now collaborate with you on projects, switch between over 40 languages, and give better coding help with increased accuracy.
Enhanced Bard Capabilities
Bard’s skill at providing customized responses to user questions has been an essential capability of the AI system.
People have used Bard for many tasks, like making travel plans, writing product descriptions for online sales, and simplifying complex scientific ideas.
Google’s upgrades to Bard include its most sophisticated model to date, which is now integrated with Google’s apps and services.
Also, Google has enhanced the “Google it” search function so users can easily fact-check Bard’s answers.
Bard Extensions Launched
Google has introduced Bard Extensions for English language users, providing a new way to interact with the AI chatbot.
The extensions allow Bard to display relevant information from Google’s products like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube, Flights, and Hotels.
This feature could simplify complex tasks. For example, Bard could pull flight and hotel details, directions, and videos about the destination when planning a trip from Google tools.
For job searches, Bard could summarize a resume from Drive into a paragraph personal statement and help write a cover letter.
Google confirmed using Workspace extensions doesn’t compromise privacy. Content from Gmail, Docs, and Drive isn’t accessible to human reviewers or used for advertising or training Bard.
Users can turn off extensions anytime and keep complete control over their privacy settings.
Improved Response Verification & Continuous Conversations
Google has improved the process of verifying the accuracy of Bard’s responses with a “Google it” button.
Clicking this button prompts Bard to cross-reference its response against information on the web. It highlights phrases in Bard’s answer and lets users click on them to see supporting or contradicting information from Google Search.
Google also made it simpler to have ongoing conversations with Bard. When a Bard chat is shared publicly, the person who receives the link can keep talking to Bard about that topic. They can ask follow-up questions or use the conversation as a jumping-off point for their ideas.
Expanded Language Support
Google is extending access to existing English language features to more than 40 languages. This includes uploading images with Lens, receiving Search images in responses, and modifying Bard’s responses.
With the latest improvements, Google aims to make Bard a more versatile assistant for creative collaboration, multilingual conversations, and technical queries.
The experimental chatbot is still in limited preview as Google continues to test and develop it responsibly.
Featured Image: Screenshot from blog.google/products/bard/google-bard-new-features-update-sept-2023/, September 2023.