Google initially unveiled its Bard AI tool as a knee-jerk reaction to the overnight popularity gained by ChatGPT earlier this year, but in the meantime the search giant has continued to improve Bard – whether by adding new features or expanding its reach.
Today is another ‘new feature’ day in Bardland, as Bard Extensions are launching. Google says this is “a completely new way to interact and collaborate with Bard”. Using Extensions, Bard can get relevant information from all the other Google products you probably use every day – things like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube, and even Google Flights and hotels.
This information pulling works even when it’s to be found across multiple apps and services. As an example, Google uses planning a trip with your friends – Bard can grab the dates that work for everyone from Gmail, look up real-time hotel and flight information, show you Google Maps directions to the airport, and show you YouTube videos of things to do once you arrive where you’re going. All of this can happen within one conversation with Bard.
Another example Google gives is applying for a new job, and using the AI tool to find your resume from Drive and summarize it to a short paragraph personal statement, then continue collaborating on your cover letter.
In case you have privacy concerns, Google notes that your content from Gmail, Docs, and Drive that is accessed by Bard is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard itself to show you ads, or used to train the Bard model.
Starting today, Bard also has a “Google it” button, allowing you to more easily check its answers. When you click the G icon, Bard will read the response and evaluate whether there is content across the web to substantiate it. When a statement can be evaluated, you can click the highlighted phrases and learn more about supporting or contradicting information found by Google search.
Also starting today, when someone shares a Bard chat with you through a public link, you can continue the conversation with additional questions about that topic, or use it as a starting point for something else.
Finally, features like uploading images with Lens, getting Search images in responses, and modifying Bard’s responses, previously limited to English only, are now available in more than 40 languages.