Another big update for Google Bard which, thanks to “Extensions”, can now interact with Gmail, YouTube, Maps and other Google applications to provide you with more relevant answers. Other new features, notably available in French, are also being introduced to improve artificial intelligence.
Full potential, finally? Not quite yet, but Google Bard is gradually becoming more interesting to test. The conversational agent – based on powerful artificial intelligence – is therefore full of new features. The most notable of these being the integration of “Extensions” which allow the AI to interact with the web giant’s apps such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube or Drive.
As a reminder, Google Bard has recently been able to speak French. However, be careful, the new features that we are going to review are not all available in the language of Molière. Rest assured, you will still have access to it from France. Will this be enough to make you forget the formidable competitor ChatGPT? Judge instead.
Google Bard Extensions (Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Docs…)
As we said, the big announcement is the arrival of the Extensions. Thanks to them, when you launch a query, Google Bard will be able to search and display information from applications and services such as Gmail, Google Docs, Drive.
Google gives some examples to make it all a little more concrete.
- “Give me a template for writing a wedding best man speech and show me YouTube videos about it for inspiration.»
- “Summarize recent bookings for our school tour from Gmail and put them in a table with the date and time“.
In the examples above, the name of the application to be exploited is mentioned in the request, but this is not always necessary. In another example regarding Maps, Google suggests the following phrase. “Where can I take my 3 year old daughter to pick pumpkins and give me ideas for fall themed crafts I can do with her.» Here, Bard will use Maps to show you a suitable location.
That’s not all, these Extensions also work using two Google apps or services simultaneously or consecutively. For example, you can start by asking Bard: “what are the places listed in my Costa Rica 2024 document“. The AI will draw on Google Docs to find the information. You can then request to display all these places on a map. There, Bard will rely on Maps.
Below are other examples.
- YouTube and Google Lens: “This is the new car seat I bought, show me some tutorial videos showing how to install it.»
- YouTube and Maps: “Find hotels in Paris for a week in November and videos of kid-friendly things to do there.»
What about confidentiality? Google promises that no human moderator — called reviewer — will view data from your Gmail, Drive, etc. accounts. Also, the firm indicates that the data in question is not used to train Bard nor to refine advertising targeting towards you. Additionally, you can disable Extensions whenever you want.
Please note that this new feature is one of those available only in English. You can use Extensions in France, but not when writing in French. Among the apps and services mentioned, we also find Google Flights and Google Hotels. The firm plans to open Extensions to third-party applications, but explains that it wants to move forward gradually to ensure the proper functioning of this new option.
New features of Google Bard available in French
This Google Bard update still brings some new features available in French. These are essentially functions already available in English which now become more accessible.
Let’s mention the fact that you can upload a photo to ask a question in French related to it. Bard uses Google Lens to interpret the content of the image. For its part, the AI can also respond by integrating images, something that it previously only did with texts in English.
From now on, French speakers will also be able to modify the tone and length of Google Bard’s responses.
Finally, please note that if someone shares with you, via a public link, a conversation they had with Bard, you will be able to continue the discussion where it left off.
Better check Google Bard answers
Let’s come back to a new function available only in English. Google Bard offers an option to better verify the veracity of its comments. A good thing for the great storyteller that he can still be. Thus, the “G” button — the Google logo — becomes more relevant. If you click on it, Bard will analyze the answer he just gave you and will double-check what he finds on the web to see if he can back up his statement.
The user will be able to click on the highlighted pieces of text to see the elements which confirm or contradict these passages. “It is important to note that the links provided are content found by Search and do not mean that these sources informed Bard’s initial response», underlines Google.
To go further, also know that the large language model on which Google Bard is based, PaLM 2, has been reinforced to make the conversational agent even more capable and precise. This applies in particular to switching seamlessly from one language to another, comparing information more effectively, helping to write code more effectively, etc.
Remember that Google Bard is an online service available at bard.google.com. You can use it on PC or smartphone, but there is no dedicated application at the moment, you have to go through your browser.