Google’s Bard AI chatbot can now search your Gmail, Docs, and Drive for responses instead of simply the web. You can now ask Bard to perform things like find and summarize the contents of an email or highlight the most significant aspects of a document you’ve saved in Drive using the new integration.
These connections, which Google refers to as extensions, have a wide range of use cases, but they should prevent you from having to trawl through a pile of emails or documents to get a specific piece of information. You may then instruct Bard to use the information in different ways, such as making a chart or a bulleted summary. For the time being, this function is only available in English.
While allowing Bard access to your personal email and documents raises privacy and data usage concerns, Google claims that this material will not be used to train Bard’s public model, nor will it be seen by human reviewers. You also don’t have to enable the Gmail, Docs, and Google Drive connectors. Google will initially ask you to opt in, and you can opt out at any moment.
To use the tool, Bard’s product lead, Jack Krawczyk, tells The Verge that you can have Bard immediately search within your Gmail, for example, by prefacing your question with @mail. You may also ask, “Check my email for information about my upcoming flight.”
Bard’s extensions aren’t simply confined to Gmail, Docs, and Drive. Google also revealed that the chatbot will integrate with Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights. This means you can now ask Bard for real-time travel information, nearby attractions, YouTube videos on a specific topic, and a whole lot more. Google will make these three extensions available by default.
“The reason we’re starting with this experiment… is primarily because it’s the first time a language model product is truly integrating with your personal data,” adds Krawczyk. “We want to make sure we get that right.” According to Krawczyk, Google intends to expand Bard’s integrations to more “products across Google as well as partners outside of Google.”
Google is also making significant upgrades to Bard. This features a new “Google It” button in the chatbot for double-checking Bard’s answers. While the button previously allowed you to search Google for topics connected to Bard’s answer, it will now reveal whether Bard’s answers contain information that Google Search confirms or denies.
When you click the “Google It” button on a supported response, Google highlights the information verified by Search in green and any unvalidated answers in orange. You may read more about what Bard got right or incorrect by hovering your mouse over the highlighted sentences. Google is also adding the ability to continue a conversation with Bard based on a shared link, allowing you to expand on a previous query.
Google has steadily added additional features to Bard since its launch in February, including the ability to build and debug code, as well as develop functions for Google Sheets. Google Lens support was been introduced to Bard, allowing you to use the tool to brainstorm caption ideas for a photo or get more information about it.