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Why isn't Bard available in Canada or the EU? Here's what Google says.
- Google’s Bard chatbot is available in 180 markets, but it’s not available in Canada and Europe.
- The company has hinted at regulatory reasons for this issue.
Google announced at its I/O developer conference that its Bard chatbot would be broadly available in 180 markets. It marks a major expansion for the platform, which saw a very limited release at first.
Canada and Europe are missing from the list of supported markets, though. Now, Google has hinted at a possible reason for these omissions in an emailed response to an Android Authority query.
A Google spokesperson noted the following:
Bard will soon be able to support the 40 top languages, and while we haven’t finalized the timeline for expansion plans, we will roll it out gradually and responsibly, and continue to be a helpful and engaged partner to regulators as we navigate these new technologies together.
The company’s assertion that it was a “helpful and engaged partner to regulators” suggests that Bard is skipping the EU and Canada for now due to regulatory concerns.
Regulations to blame for Bard’s absence?
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen regulatory hurdles regarding new-generation AI tools like Bard. Italy banned ChatGPT last month, citing privacy and data collection worries. Italian regulators expressed concern that ChatGPT was falling foul of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policies.
Meanwhile, Canadian lawmakers recently introduced legislation aimed at regulating AI. The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) mandates assessments, risk management, monitoring, data anonymization, transparency, and record-keeping practices around AI systems. AIDA would also introduce penalties of up to 3% of a company’s global revenue or $10 million.
So these facts combined with Bard’s broad availability suggest that Google is indeed trying to avoid hefty fines and wants to get its regulatory ducks in a row.