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Google opens up Bard, adds several new features as well

Google is opening Bard up to more users, and more countries. It's also adding more features.

Published onMay 10, 2023

Google IO 2023 bard palm 2
  • Google is improving Bard with the introduction of PaLM 2.
  • Bard will soon be getting visual-oriented responses to questions and other small improvements.
  • Google also plans plenty of new extensions and integrations, both in-house and via partners.

AI has come a long way in a very short time, largely thanks to ChatGPT. Of course, that’s far from the only option out there. One of its would-be competitors is Google Bard, but up until now, it required you to go through a few hoops to try it out. That changes today.

At Google I/O 2023, Google announced Bard is now available for anyone to try. Previously Bard was only available by invite, and in just the US and UK. The new and improved Bard is rolling out to 180 countries and has added Korean and Japanese language support, with 40 more languages coming in the near future.

The initial version of Bard was met with mixed reception, but it looks like Google is dramatically upping its game by adding extensions, new programming languages, and more. Powering these changes is the new PaLM 2 language model.

One way that Google is hoping to differentiate its platform is through better visuals. Imagine asking Google, “What are some must-see sights in New Orleans?” While ChatGPT might give you a quick list, Bard pairs this information with images and other visuals.

bard demo

As you can see, this stands out in a much bigger way than this does:

chatgpt 1vs

Images will play a large role in Bard, but not just for responses. Google will also let you include images in your own prompts, all thanks to the power of Google Lens.

Let’s say you want Bard to write up some captions for an image or maybe even make a funny meme. Using Lens, Bard will analyze the photo, detect what’s in the image, and draft a few potential captions. This all happens almost instantly.

Keep in mind that these new visual improvements aren’t live just yet, but should be coming in the near future.

While Bard has many uses, it’s clear Google envisions its AI tool as being especially helpful for developers. With that in mind, Google is announcing a few key coding upgrades, including source citations and an export button that lets you easily export code, starting with Python and with more programming languages to come. There’s also a new dark theme, which was apparently requested by the majority of testers.

Another way Bard can stand out is through integration with Google services. With that in mind, Google has announced it will be introducing new ways to connect to Google apps, including Docs, Drive, Gmail, Maps, and more. In fact, Google has already set live the ability to export to Google Docs and Gmail, with more to come a bit further down the road.

It’s not just internal integrations, either. Google announced a partnership with Adobe to bring integration with Adobe Firefly to generate high-quality images as well. You can then take these images and edit them in Adobe Express.

That’s just a few of the improvements coming to Bard. While you’re at it, be sure to head over and give it a try for yourself.

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