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Google's grounded AI super tool NotebookLM launches for users around the world

An expose of NotebookLM

Just a day after Google stopped dragging its feet and brought the Gemini app to Europe, the company announced the global availability of NotebookLM which was only available in the US until now.

Briefly, NotebookLM is a tool powered by Google’s latest LLM (large language model), Gemini 1.5 Pro. You pass it source documents and then it can help you work with those documents saving you a tonne of time as you just ask the AI questions. By grounding AI on actual source material, it drastically reduces the likelihood of hallucination which we saw with AI chatbots, but it still isn't perfect.

When you open a new notebook, you can upload content from Drive, a PDF, a text file, copied text, or a website. You aren’t restricted to one of these sources either so you can get the AI to look over a plethora of data so you don’t have to.

With today’s global expansion, Google has upgraded NotebookLM to support Google Slides and web URLs, inline citations that take you directly to supporting passes in your sources for fact-checking, and Notebook Guide can now give you a high-level understanding of your sources by converting the content into FAQs, Briefing Docs, or Study Guides.

As Gemini 1.5 Pro is a multimodal LLM, you can hand off images, charts, and diagrams to NotebookLM and ask questions about them. When appropriate, NotebookLM can also include citations to images as supporting evidence.

Explaining how NotebookLM has already been used, Google said:

“We’ve been amazed by the range of uses that people are finding for NotebookLM. Because the product was developed in close partnership with authors, students and educators, we’ve seen many early adopters integrate it into research and writing workflows. Best-selling author Walter Isaacson has been working with NotebookLM to analyze Marie Curie's journals for research on his next book. We’ve seen similar enthusiasm from documentary and podcast researchers who need to sift through complex archives to generate scripts or story ideas.”

To get started with NotebookLM, just head over to the website and make a new note where you’ll be asked to upload content. It’s a little bit confusing if you’re using it for the first time but just power along for a little while and you’ll soon get the hang of it and find out that it’s a really powerful tool.

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