Google makes its AI-powered NotebookLM note-taking application broadly available

Google makes its AI-powered NotebookLM note-taking application broadly available

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Google LLC today made NotebookLM, a note-taking application powered by its new Gemini Pro language model, available to users in the U.S. who are at least 18 years old.

The application made its original debut at the company’s Google I/O event in May under the name Project Tailwind. In June, the search giant rebranded it to NotebookLM and opened access to a limited number of users. The version of the application that became broadly available today features several new capabilities not included in the previous releases.

NotebookLM enables users to create notes about documents and webpages. To speed up the note writing process, the application includes a built-in chatbot that can quickly extract specific snippets of information from lengthy documents. Consumers can interact with the chatbot using natural language prompts.

“When you upload documents to NotebookLM, it becomes an instant expert in the information you need for your projects, capable of answering questions based on the supplied sources,” Google Labs editorial director Steven Johnson and product manager Raiza Martin detailed in a blog post

The version of NotebookLM that became broadly available today is powered by Gemini Pro, a large language model that Google introduced on Wednesday. It’s a more hardware-efficient version of Gemini Ultra, another new neural network that debuted this week. Google says that the latter model outperforms OpenAI’s flagship GPT-4 large language model across multiple benchmarks.

NotebookLM is one of several products that incorporate Gemini Pro. Google is also integrating the model into its Bard chatbot to improve the quality of responses. Additionally, Gemini Pro is set to become available through the search giant’s Vertex AI service, which will enable companies to incorporate the models into their own applications.

As part of today’s release, Google has upgraded not only the artificial intelligence that underpins NotebookLM but also its interface. There’s a new virtual whiteboard to which users can pin notes and the answers the built-in chatbot generates in response to their questions. The documents, webpages and other files about which the notes are written can be accessed through a panel on the left side of the whiteboard. 

Another new feature will make it easier to extract information from source documents. When a user highlights a passage in a document or webpage uploaded to NotebookLM, the built-in chatbot can automatically summarize it. It’s also capable of explaining any technical concepts the text may discuss.

Another set of feature additions in today’s update will ease the task of creating new notes. According to Google, NotebookLM now suggests ways that users can improve their prose and highlights relevant information from the uploaded documents. Additionally, users have access to a tool that can automatically turn multiple notes into a new document such as a marketing plan or to-do list. 

Image: Google

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