Google today is releasing a more capable version of Bard, its generative AI chatbot and ChatGPT rival, which now lets you double-check its answers, collaborate with others, and, notably, integrate with Google’s own apps and services, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights and hotels.
The latter is available through new Bard Extensions and only in English for the time being. First announced at Google I/O, the company had not immediately rolled out extensions because it wanted to make sure it did so in a way that would offer a safe and trustworthy experience.
“We wanted to make sure that the way that we bring this to users is extremely rooted in the three principles that we have, as it relates to the trust that we build with our with people that use Bard, which is around transparency, choice and control,” explains Jack Krawczyk, product lead for Bard. “So we’re going to start off with saying when Bard interacts with Gmail, Drive and Docs, it’s only when a user has opted in to say it’s okay,” he says. And the user can revoke that permission at any time.
In addition, the company wants to ensure users understand how that data is and is not used. If you’re using personal data that’s been brought in from Gmail, Google Drive or Docs, that information is not used for reinforcement learning. Says Krawczyk, that’s a critical element in order to maintain user trust.