LONDON: Google said on Tuesday that its generative artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, is now capable of fact-checking its answers and analyzing users’ personal data when preparing responses.
It marks an expansion of Bard’s limited functionality, which previously lacked the ability to understand and execute prompts, according to a Bloomberg report.
Google parent company Alphabet is locked in a battle for supremacy with Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT, one of the fastest-growing consumer applications in the world and one of the top 30 websites in the world in terms of visitor numbers.
In comparison, Google’s Bard has lagged behind. In August, its website received 183 million visits, just 13 percent of ChatGPT’s total, according to website analytics firm Similarweb.
As it seeks to gain ground in the fast-moving AI space, Google has now rolled out Bard Extensions, which enables users to import personal data from other Google products. For instance, they can ask Bard to search their files on Google Drive and Docs and answer questions about their personal content, or to provide a summary of the contents of their Gmail inbox.
The company said Bard can also now retrieve real-time information from Maps, YouTube, Hotels, and Flights, and users can upload images using Google Lens, get Google Search images in response, and modify Bard’s responses in all supported languages to be more professional or more casual as required.
For now, Bard users can only pull such information from Google’s own apps but the company said it is working with external businesses to connect their services.
As Google approaches its 25th anniversary on Sept. 27, it said it is preparing for another large-scale technological shift.
In a message ahead of the silver anniversary celebrations, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet, wrote that the company’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
He added: “With AI, we can do things that matter on an even bigger scale. It’s a fundamental rewiring of technology and an incredible accelerant of human ingenuity.”
In the past few months, Google has implemented AI technologies across its portfolio, including popular services such as Gmail, YouTube and the Android operating system, which powers devices that compete with Apple’s iPhone.
Pichai said that 15 of these products are used by more than half a billion individuals and businesses, and six by more than 2 billion users. AI is being used to localize products and reach more consumers through regionally relevant content, he added.
In July, Google launched its latest generative AI experiment, Bard in Arabic, which allows Arabic speakers to harness their creative potential and boost productivity. The company also recently announced a Cloud setup in Doha which will be part of a global network in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.