In an effort to counter challenges from rival companies Open AI and Microsoft, Google is expanding Bard, its artificially intelligent chatbot, to other members of its digital family, including Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. With the new features for Bard unveiled on Tuesday, users will be able to authorize the chatbot to mine information from their Gmail accounts, get driving directions from Google Maps, and find useful films on YouTube through an English-only extension.
The extension will allow Bard to access Google Flights to retrieve trip data as well as Google Drive to extract data from documents.
By forbidding human reviewers from viewing the potentially sensitive data that Bard obtains from Gmail or Drive, Google promises to protect users’ privacy. Additionally, the Mountain View, California-based company guarantees that the data won’t be used as part of the primary way it generates revenue—selling ads that are specifically catered to people’s interests.
The development is the most recent in an ongoing AI conflict that has been sparked by the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot and Microsoft’s efforts to integrate comparable technology into its Bing search engine and its Microsoft 365 suite, which includes its Word, Excel, and Outlook programs.
Google began testing the usage of more conversational AI in its own search results in May after being persuaded by ChatGPT to release Bard publicly in March.
The choice to give Bard more digital juice in the midst of a prominent trial may eventually cripple the pervasive Google search engine that powers the $1.7 trillion empire of its corporate parent, Alphabet Inc.
The U.S. Justice Department claims that Google abused its authority to restrict competition and innovation in order to establish its lucrative search monopoly.
This is the largest antitrust lawsuit to be brought in the United States in the past 25 years. Google claims that it has the upper hand in search due to the superiority of its algorithms.
It also claims that as AI develops, a wide range of rivalries are growing more fierce.
Theoretically, giving Bard access to a wealth of user data and other well-known services like Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube will make them even more useful and encourage more people to rely on them.
For example, Google suggests that Bard might aid a user in organizing a group vacation to the Grand Canyon by locating dates that would work for everyone, outlining various airline and lodging possibilities, giving directions from Maps, and presenting a variety of educational movies from YouTube.