Google’s highly-anticipated chatbot, Bard, is now available in the European Union (EU) and Brazil, marking its largest expansion since its initial launch in February. Bard, a generative AI chatbot, aims to rival Microsoft-backed ChatGPT and is capable of engaging in conversations and answering a wide range of prompts. Despite some setbacks, Google has introduced several new features to Bard, further enhancing its capabilities.
The release of Bard was initially delayed in the EU due to data privacy concerns raised by the Irish Data Protection Commission. However, Google has addressed these concerns and worked closely with experts, policymakers, and privacy regulators to ensure compliance. With this expansion, Bard is now accessible in over 40 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, and Spanish. The chatbot is designed to foster curiosity and imagination by providing users with the tools to explore their ideas and build upon them.
To improve user customization, Google has introduced new options to modify Bard’s responses. Users can select from five different tones and styles, including “simple,” “long,” “short,” “professional,” or “casual.” These options allow users to tailor the chatbot’s responses to align with their preferences. Additionally, Bard now features a text-to-speech AI feature, enabling users to listen to its responses in multiple languages by simply clicking on the sound icon next to the prompt.
In terms of productivity, Bard has expanded its capabilities. Users can now export Python code to Replit, a browser-based integrated development environment, facilitating code sharing and collaboration. Furthermore, Bard can analyze images uploaded by users, although this feature is currently limited to prompts in English. Other enhancements include the ability to pin, rename, and retrieve recent conversations with Bard, as well as the option to share Bard’s responses with others through links.
While Bard faced initial challenges, including providing factually incorrect answers, Google claims that the chatbot has made significant improvements, particularly in areas such as math and programming. Bard has gained extensions from Google’s own apps and third-party partners like Adobe, allowing it to explain code, structure data in tables, and include images in its responses.
Despite these advancements, Google faced criticism regarding the treatment of contractors who train Bard. Reports revealed that some contractors are overworked, underpaid, and given minimal training, potentially compromising the accuracy and reliability of the chatbot’s responses. Google’s commitment to responsible development and addressing these concerns remains crucial.
Although ChatGPT’s website experienced a decline in monthly traffic and unique visitors in June, the competition between Bard and ChatGPT continues to generate global excitement, driving significant investments in AI research and development. As Bard expands its reach and introduces new features, Google aims to position itself as a leader in the AI chatbot landscape, constantly pushing the boundaries of technology while prioritizing user privacy and customization.
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