Today, Google unveiled a significant upgrade to its Bard conversational AI system, broadening its functionality to seamlessly interact with Google’s most popular productivity apps and services. These improvements are designed to enhance Bard’s utility in daily tasks while also addressing concerns regarding its accuracy.
Effective immediately, Bard gains the ability to directly tap into information from apps such as Gmail, Docs, Maps, Flights, and YouTube. This empowers it to deliver more comprehensive and personalized responses during conversations. For instance, when planning a trip, Bard can now autonomously retrieve pertinent dates, flight details, directions, and sightseeing recommendations, all within a single conversation.
This upgrade follows Bard’s somewhat lackluster public debut in March, which exposed factual inaccuracies in many of its responses. Google aims to bolster Bard’s accuracy by integrating it with its search engine. Users now have the option to fact-check Bard’s responses against web information indexed by clicking a “Google it” button within the chat.
Google emphasizes its unwavering commitment to safeguarding users’ personal information with this update. Those who choose to utilize the Workspace extensions can rest assured that their content from Gmail, Docs, and Drive remains confidential, unseen by human reviewers, not utilized for ad targeting by Bard, nor employed in training the Bard model. Users retain full control over their privacy settings.
Additionally, Google has simplified the process of building upon others’ interactions with Bard. From today onwards, if someone shares a Bard chat via a public link, the recipient can continue the conversation, pose further inquiries to Bard about the topic, or use it as a starting point for their own discussions.
Furthermore, Google extends access to existing English language features, including the ability to upload images using Lens, receive Search images in responses, and adapt Bard’s responses to over 40 languages.
Although Bard’s capabilities are still somewhat limited, these new features hint at a future where AI assistants seamlessly combine conversational skills with email and document services to enhance productivity. As Bard continues to advance, it may integrate further with other Google offerings, such as calendar, photos, and analytics.
The rollout of these Bard upgrades begins today, with Google planning to introduce additional languages and integrations in the months ahead, all while upholding responsible technology refinement.