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With the new Google’s Bard extensions, users have control on deciding whom to give access to their data. These extensions can also work together and collaboratively.
In the latest update, Google’s AI platform Bard has introduced a double-check feature along with the ability to connect the Bard chatbot with Google apps and services. This includes Google Docs, Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Maps, Google Flights, and hotels.
Google will make these services available through new Bard extensions and only in English for the time being. Initially introduced at Google I/O, the company chose not to immediately launch extensions to ensure a safe and reliable user experience. Speaking on the development, Jack Krawczyk, product lead for Bard said:
“We wanted to make sure that the way that we bring this to users is extremely rooted in the three principles that we have, as it relates to the trust that we build with our with people that use Bard, which is around transparency, choice and control. So we’re going to start off with saying when Bard interacts with Gmail, Drive and Docs, it’s only when a user has opted in to say it’s okay.”
In addition, Google also wants its users to understand the usage of their data. When it comes to using personal data imported from Gmail, Google Drive, or Docs, it’s important to note that this information is not utilized for reinforcement learning. Krawczyk emphasizes that maintaining user trust hinges on this critical element.
Google said that its Bard platform doesn’t use the user’s personal information. Instead, the company uses the same approach such as spam filtering used in Google services.
Google Bard Extensions
Upon connecting the extensions, users can grant Bard access to read their emails and summarize if they want. However, there could be areas where Google Bard can fall short.
For instance, Bard wouldn’t be able to locate details about your wine club memberships, including their upcoming delivery dates, unless these emails have specific mentions like “wine club”.
The new extensions can also work collaboratively. For example, with users planning a trip with friends, Bard can fetch the most suitable dates from the Gmail thread and then access real-time flight and hotel information. Also, it can provide Maps directions to the airport, and even present YouTube videos showcasing things to do at the destination – all within the same conversation.
Regarding the extensions that don’t utilize personal data – such as YouTube, Flights, Hotels, and Maps – users will be automatically opted in. However, they have the tool to opt-out if they prefer to. Google aims to eventually support third-party services through this same Extensions model, but it intends to first test and learn from the feature using its own first-party apps and services.
Another noteworthy feature is an update to the “Google it” button in Bard, which now allows users to cross-verify the chatbot’s responses. This enhancement, Google explains, leverages work from Google Research and DeepMind. When you tap the “G” icon, every statement generated by Bard is cross-referenced against Google search results to determine if there is web content that supports the provided answer. If the statement is confirmed, you can click on the highlighted phrases to access additional information through Google Search.