Google is not holding back when it comes to its competition with the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Microsoft’s Bing AI. This time, the company is bringing a host of new features to Bard, its AI chatbot, and making it available to a wider audience by expanded its access to 59 new countries and territories, including Brazil and the 27 counties in the European Economic Area (EEA).
This development finally brings the chatbot to the EU – it was originally delayed owing to data privacy concerns – and with the new update, Bard now carries a greater degree of multilingual support. With the latest round of updates, it is now available in over 40 languages, including nine Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu – as well as foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, German, and Spanish.
This comes a few months after Bard initially opened for early access in the US and UK – at that time, English was the sole language it supported. After the initial waitlist ended in May, Google began to further refine the AI chatbot to assuage regulator concerns and gain a leg up its rivals in the AI race. And at its I/O 2023, the company added support for Japanese and Korean and rolled it out to over 180 countries.
“We’ve proactively engaged with experts, policymakers and privacy regulators on this expansion,” Bard product lead Jack Krawczyk, and VP of engineering Amarnag Subramanya, wrote in a blog post on the matter, calling the new update its “biggest expansion to date.”
With the new updates, in case users need to revisit some of their conversations at some later time, Google is saving them the hassle of endless scrolling by giving them the ability to pin and rename their conversations, as well as pick up recent conversations. This feature supports over 40 languages. Bard can also export Python code to Replit, and users can share their conversations with others via links.
Furthermore, Bard is moving beyond simple text prompts and answers to use audio and visual modes – that is, users can upload images with prompts and Bard will analyse them to provide answers, and the chatbot can now read out answers to said prompts. Users can simply enter a prompt and select the sound icon to hear Bard’s answers, as well as customize the tone and style of the responses to suit their preferences and needs. Five different options are available in this case – “simple,” “long,” “short,” “professional” or “casual,” and is available only in English (for now).