Google is adding a variety of new features to Bard, the AI chatbot. Support for new languages (Japanese and Korean), making exporting text to Google Docs and Gmail easier, and a dark mode are some features. Most importantly, it is removing the waitlist for Bard and making it available to 180 countries & territories in English. In addition, Google has also pledged to power AI image generation through Adobe and integrate third-party services like Instacart and OpenTable in the future.

Bard’s Debut

Google Bard was released 2 months ago to some users in the US and UK, this news is a shot in the arm overall. Google still emphasizes that the chatbot is an experiment and not a substitution for its search engine. It did badly when compared to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot. Bard made a factual error in its very first public appearance. The addition of many new features and the upgradation to its new PaLM2 language model should refine Bard’s general answers and usability.

Bard’s Coding Abilities

Bard is peculiarly good at addressing coding queries, according to Google, it can debug and explain code chunks of over 20 languages. New upgrades include the new dark mode, improved code citations, and a new export button. The export button will now also work with another browser-based IDE, Replit (starting with Python queries).

AI Image Generation

Google is making Bard more visual for more general purposes. It will have the ability to analyze images, provide images in query results, and generate AI images (a feature that is coming soon, powered by Adobe’s Firefly software). Bard will show visual results in a similar manner to Google image search.

A more fascinating use of Bard is its capability to prompt the system with an image, powered by Google Lens, it will identify objects within pictures. The feature is a little tricky but may have creative potential, depending on the system’s integration.

According to Google, Bard will soon be integrated with Adobe’s AI image generator, Firefly. Adobe has marketed Firefly on the “ethical” nature of its training data making it noteworthy. The first of many third-party integrations, which Google calls tools, with a promise from Google that the system will soon be able to connect directly to apps “from Google and amazing services across the web.”

The addition is fairly large, but keep in mind Google is just keeping feature parity with its rivals. AI image generation was added to Microsoft Bing, powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E system, in March. Microsoft & OpenAI are both looking for solutions to integrate chatbots with the world wide web.

What is Bard even for?

Even with the new features, the crucial question remains: What is Bard for? People are still using Bard as a search even though Google emphasizes that Bard is not a replacement for Search. With more AI features being added across Google, and the planned updates to Search, Google may just be playing with Bard to achieve its AI goals, which could turn out to be a good thing.