Google’s AI Chatbot Bard Expands Powers: Integrates with Gmail, YouTube and Maps

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Google has unveiled plans to integrate Bard, its artificially intelligent (AI) chatbot, with other services within its expansive digital environment, including Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. This move illustrates the tech giant’s strategic attempt to maintain its position against rival technologies powered by Open AI and Microsoft.

The enhancements to Bard, set to be available solely in English initially, are scheduled for roll out on Tuesday. With these updates, Bard will be able to access and extract information from users’ Gmail accounts, generate directions through Google Maps, and source useful videos via YouTube.

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Moreover, Bard will equip itself to fetch travel data from Google Flights and retrieve information from documents housed on Google Drive. In this way, Google hopes to maximize Bard’s user engagement and problem-solving capabilities.

Google has reassured users regarding their privacy concerns, promising to guard sensitive data. The company has banned human reviewers from accessing private information extracted by Bard from Gmail or Drive, and also pledged not to use this data for ad customization, its primary revenue source.

This development manifests a surge in the ongoing rivalry involving AI-powered technologies, initiated by the rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot and Microsoft’s fervor for incorporating similar technology in its Bing search engine and Microsoft 365 package, home to Word, Excel, and Outlook applications.

Google launched Bard broadly in March following the popularity of ChatGPT, and began experimental implementation of its more conversational AI within its own search results in May.

Choosing to amplify Bard amidst an ongoing high-stakes antitrust trial, which could potentially cripple Google’s ubiquitous search engine powering its parent corporation Alphabet Inc.’s $1.7 trillion empire, underscores the tech-industry giant’s confidence in its AI initiatives.

The largest antitrust case the United States has seen in the past 25 years alleges Google has abused its power to maintain its profitable search monopoly, thereby stifling competition and innovation. Google, however, disputes these claims, arguing its search performance supremacy is due to the superior results produced by its algorithms. It further insists that a surge of competition, amplified by the rise of AI, is in play.

The tech giant predicts that providing Bard with access to a wealth of personal information, as well as popular services like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube, will theoretically enhance their usefulness and encourage more people to rely on them. As an example, Google envisages Bard assisting a user planning a group trip to the Grand Canyon by identifying suitable dates for everyone, offering various flight and hotel options, providing directions via Maps, and presenting a range of informative YouTube videos.