Google’s Bard AI Assistant Can Now Interact With Information from Gmail, Docs, and Drive

IBL News | New York

Google, yesterday, released an upgraded version of its chatbot Bard, which can access information from Google apps and services.

  • The new Bard can now retrieve and help users work with real-time info from Maps, YouTube, Hotels, and Flights, extensions that don’t leverage personal data. These extensions are enabled by default, and you can disable them at any time.
  • In addition, users can enable Bard to interact with information in English from Gmail, Docs, and Drive to summarize and answer questions across personal content. At this point, Google ensured that this Google Workspace data won’t be used to train Bard’s public model and can be disabled at any time.
  • Another feature is based on double-checking Bard’s AI-generated responses with Google Search (with the “Google It” button) to see if there’s content on the web to substantiate the answer. When a statement can be evaluated, users will see it highlighted in Bard’s response and will be able to click to learn more. But if the AI is unsure, the sentence may be highlighted in orange to indicate that it knows this part of the answer might be wrong. This should help users better understand when the AI is “hallucinating” providing a response based on false information. The feature will also help the AI improve as it learns what it gets wrong from user feedback and then uses that to create a better model.
  • Building off of conversations shared, when someone shares a Bard conversation through Bard’s public lin- sharing feature, that author can continue that conversation in his account and build off of what they started.
  • Users can upload images with Google Lens, get Google Search images in responses, and modify Bard’s responses to be simpler, longer, shorter, more professional or more casual in all supported languages.

A New York Times analyst examined all these features, and the results were mixed, not as promising as Google advertised.”Google’s Bard Just Got More Powerful. It’s Still Erratic,” Kevin Roose wrote.

Our own IBL News testing found that Bard still hallucinates in large part when retrieving information.