Previewed at I/O 2023 in May, Bard Extensions are launching today (in English) to let Google’s “helpful collaborator” access your Gmail, Drive, and Docs, as well as other first-party services, to get things done.
Extensions, as we previously showed off, connect Google Bard to Gmail, Drive, Docs, YouTube, Maps, and Google Flights and hotels. In the case of Workspace apps, Bard can now sift through emails and documents to find the specific information you request. For example:
- “..ask Bard to grab the [trip] dates that work for everyone from Gmail”
- “Find my resume titled June 2023 from my Drive and summarize it to a short paragraph personal statement”
It takes a moment for Bard to find and access your info, with Bard showing both a concise response and a summary of the actual emails. On the privacy front, “content from Gmail, Docs and Drive is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads or used to train the Bard model.”
Once Bard has access to that data, it can be used to find real-time flight and hotel information, Google Maps directions, and even YouTube videos without you having to input that information manually.
Meanwhile, the “Google it” button will do more than offer suggested Google Search queries. Tapping that button will now have Bard read its response and “evaluate whether there is content across the web to substantiate it” or not.
When a statement can be evaluated, you can click the highlighted phrases and learn more about supporting or contradicting information found by Search.
After launching in English, features like Google Lens upload, visual responses, and modifications (simple, long, short, professional, or casual) are now available in 40 languages. The link-based conversation-sharing feature is also expanding so that you can continue Bard conversations started by other users.
Lastly, Google credits these new features as being possible thanks to the latest PaLM 2 updates, including using “state-of-the-art reinforcement learning techniques to train the model to be more intuitive and imaginative.”
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