Google releases ‘biggest expansion to date’ for its Bard generative AI chatbot

Google releases ‘biggest expansion to date’ for its Bard generative AI chatbot

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Google LLC today released a set of new capabilities for Bard that it describes as the “biggest expansion to date” of the chatbot’s feature set.

In conjunction, the search giant is expanding Bard’s geographic availability. The chatbot, which has been available in 180 countries since March, will now also be accessible from Brazil and Europe. While at it, Google is rolling out support for 43 additional languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi and Spanish.

One of the flagship feature additions Google has rolled out is the ability to provide Bard with prompts that contain images. A user could, for example, upload a photo of a street sign and ask the chatbot to translate the text it displays. The feature is initially available in English with support for additional languages set to roll out “soon,” according to Google. 

Today’s update not only enables users to enter more types of input into Bard but will also enhance the chatbot’s output. Customizing the chatbot’s responses will become easier thanks to five preprogrammed text style settings: simple, long, short, professional and casual. Users can optionally have Bard read its responses out loud by clicking a new audio button in the interface.

The other enhancements that Google rolled out today focus on improving the chatbot’s usability.

According to the company, users can now save Bard conversations by adding shortcuts to the sidebar in the chatbot’s interface. Furthermore, it’s now possible to make conversations available to others via shareable links.

“Now when you start a conversation, you’ll see options to pin, rename and pick up recent conversations in the sidebar,” Bard product lead Jack Krawczyk and Amarnag Subramanya, vice president of engineering for the chatbot, wrote in a blog post today. “For example, if you ask Bard to help you compare outdoor sports for the summer, you can revisit the tips later.”

Bard can generate not only prose but also code. For developers who use Bard’s programming features, Google is adding the ability to sync chatbot-generated Python code to Replit, a popular cloud-based software development tool. Google’s cloud business inked a partnership with the tool’s developer, Replit Inc., earlier this year and the search giant also uses it internally.

The new capabilities are rolling out a few days after OpenAI LP extended its rival ChatGPT service with a plugin called Code Interpreter. According to the startup, the plugin enables users to perform data science tasks with natural language prompts. Code Interpreter can solve mathematical problems, create graphs and change the format of data files to ease analysis. 

Image: Google

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