Google announces new features on ‘Bard’

By Chidimma Gold, Abuja

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Global tech firm Google, on Wednesday announced new features on Bard, its experimental, conversational, Artificial Intelligence chat service.

Google’s Communication and Public Relations Manager, West Africa, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, said in a statement that the company was rolling out “a most capable model of the Bard.”

Ogunlade said the updated model which is integrated with Google apps and services is for more helpful responses.

Bard, which was unveiled on February 6, 2023, by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is meant to function similarly to ChatGPT.

However, the biggest difference is that Google’s service pulls its information from the web. One of its biggest benefits is that it can tailor its responses to exactly what the search initiator needs.

Kola-Ogunlade said that the newest update on Bard means that it had gotten better at customising its responses, so one could easily bring their ideas to life.

“We are launching Bard Extensions in English, a completely new way to interact and collaborate with Bard,” he said.

The Google spokesman said that with Extensions, Bard could find and show relevant information from the Google tools one uses every day like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Google Maps, YouTube and Google flight and Hotels.

He added that Bard would still perform this service, even when the information needed was across multiple apps and services.

“For example, if you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon (a project that takes up many tabs), you can now ask Bard to grab the dates that work for everyone from Gmail.

 “Bard can look up real-time flight and hotel information, see Google Maps directions to the airport, and even watch YouTube videos of things to do there – all within one conversation,” Kola-Ogunlade explained.

He stressed that if one chose to use the Workplace Extensions, Google was committed to protecting the searcher’s personal information.

He said that the searcher’s content from Gmail, Docs and Drive would not be seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads, or used to train the Bard model.

Ogunlade stressed that the searcher would also be in control of his/her privacy settings, when deciding how to use the extensions and can turn them off at any time.

The Google spokesman said further that Bard’s “Google it” button could be used to more easily doublecheck its answers.

“When you click on the ‘G’ icon, Bard will read the response and evaluate whether there is content across the web to substantiate it.

“When a statement can be evaluated, you can click the highlighted phrases and learn more about supporting or contradicting information found by Search,” he added.



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