It's been over a month since Google announced a new update for its Bard generative AI chatbot. Today, the company announced an expansion of Bard to more parts of the world, along with new language support and a number of new and improved features.
When Bard officially launched in May, it did not include the countries in the European Union. That was because the EU had not received the required online privacy information from Google. Today's update now shows that the EU countries can access Bard for the first time, along with Brazil. Google stated:
As part of our bold and responsible approach to AI, we’ve proactively engaged with experts, policymakers and privacy regulators on this expansion. And as we bring Bard to more regions and languages over time, we’ll continue to use our AI Principles as a guide, incorporate user feedback, and take steps to protect people’s privacy and data.
Along with the new countries, Bard has now expanded its language support to cover over 40 languages. That includes new additions like Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, and Spanish.
Along with the expansion in territories and languages, Google has dropped a big feature update for Bard. Perhaps the biggest new feature is the ability to upload a photo or image for Bard to analyze. The blog post stated:
Whether you want more information about an image or just need help coming up with a caption, you can now upload images with prompts and Bard will analyze the photo to help. This feature is now live in English, and we’ll expand to new languages soon.
This is a feature that Microsoft has been testing with its own Bing Chat chatbot for a number of weeks with a limited number of users. There's no word yet on when it will be available for all Bing Chat users.
Answers to user prompts in Bard can now be given out in five different modes (simple, long, short, professional, or casual) Bard can also offer audio answers to prompts for the first time.
Another new feature will allow users to pin and save chats with Bard for access at a later time. The blog post states:
Now when you start a conversation, you’ll see options to pin, rename and pick up recent conversations in the sidebar. For example, if you ask Bard to help you compare outdoor sports for the summer, you can revisit the tips later. This feature is now live in over 40 languages.
The new Bard update also adds a way to create a link to a chat that can be shared with others. Finally, the update improves the chatbot's coding features, with Google saying it will now "export Python code to Replit, in addition to Google Colab."