Google has expanded the availability of its AI chatbot Bard to Australian users, showcasing the latest advancements in artificial intelligence while committing to an ethical rollout of the technology. Previously, Bard was only accessible to users in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, at Google’s annual I/O conference, the company announced that Bard would be made available to users in more than 180 countries globally, including Australia.
Bard, a chat program built on Google’s large language model PaLM2, is similar in function to ChatGPT, which is built on OpenAI’s GPT. Bard’s capabilities include providing information, writing code, translating languages, and analyzing images.
Google revealed future enhancements to Bard at the conference, including the addition of visual responses to complement text-based replies. Using Google’s Lens application, users will be able to upload images for analysis by Bard. For example, when presented with a photo of two dogs and a prompt to create a funny caption, Bard will identify the breed of dogs and generate a response.
To address the issue of AI hallucinations, in which the AI fabricates sourced text or information, Bard will include annotations for information obtained from external sources and provide links to those sources. Google is also working on making the chatbot available in more than 40 languages. Currently, Bard is accessible in English, Japanese, and Korean. The slower rollout of other languages is due to concerns about PaLM2-based systems continuing to produce harmful or toxic language.
Furthermore, Google plans to integrate Bard into Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, and other products over time through a feature called Duet AI. This feature will enable users to receive assistance with writing and other tasks within the apps. The company emphasizes that users will maintain control over their privacy and the integration of these tools into the various products.