Google’s Bard Just Got More Powerful. It’s Still Erratic.

Trending 2 months ago

This week, Bard — Google’s competitor to ChatGPT — sewage an upgrade.

One absorbing caller feature, called Bard Extensions, allows nan artificial intelligence chatbot to link to a user’s Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive accounts.

(Google besides gave Bard nan expertise to hunt YouTube, Google Maps and a fewer different Google services, and it introduced a instrumentality that would fto users fact-check Bard’s responses. But I’m going to attraction connected nan Gmail, Docs and Drive integrations, because nan expertise to inquire an A.I. chatbot questions astir your ain information is nan slayer characteristic here.)

Bard Extensions is designed to reside 1 of nan astir annoying problems pinch today’s A.I. chatbots, which is that while they’re awesome for penning poems aliases drafting business memos, they mostly beryllium successful a vacuum. Chatbots can’t spot your calendar, adjacent into your email inbox aliases firearm done your online shopping history — nan kinds of accusation an A.I. adjunct would request successful bid to springiness you nan champion imaginable thief pinch your regular tasks.

Google is good positioned to adjacent that gap. It already has billions of people’s email inboxes, hunt histories, years’ worthy of their photos and videos, and elaborate accusation astir their online activity. Many group — including maine — person astir of their integer lives connected Google’s apps and could use from A.I. devices that let them to usage that information much easily.

I put nan upgraded Bard done its paces connected Tuesday, hoping to observe a powerful A.I. adjunct pinch caller and improved abilities.

What I recovered was a spot of a mess. In my testing, Bard succeeded astatine immoderate simpler tasks, specified arsenic summarizing an email. But it besides told maine astir emails that weren’t successful my inbox, gave maine bad recreation proposal and fell level connected harder analytical tasks.

Jack Krawczyk, nan head of Bard astatine Google, told maine successful an question and reply connected Tuesday that Bard Extensions was mostly constricted to retrieving and summarizing information, not analyzing it, and that harder prompts mightiness still stump nan system.

“Trial and correction is still decidedly required astatine this point,” he said.

Right now, Bard Extensions is disposable only connected individual Google accounts. Extensions isn’t enabled by default; users person to move it connected via nan app’s Settings menu. And nan characteristic useful only successful English for nan clip being.

Another important caveat: Google says that users’ individual information won’t…