During its Made by Google event on Wednesday, the company announced that it’s integrating its Bard AI chatbot into Google Assistant. The company describes the feature as combining Bard’s “generative reasoning” with Assistant’s “personalized help” to provide more contextually aware responses for mobile users. It will be available within the next few months. The feature was first rumored this summer.
“While Assistant is great at handling quick tasks, like setting timers, giving weather updates, and making quick calls, there is so much more that we’ve always envisioned a deeply capable personal Assistant should be able to do,” said Google VP of Assistant / Bard Sissie Hsiao during the keynote. “But the technology to deliver it didn’t exist until now.”
Similar to Amazon’s recently announced Alexa with generative AI, Assistant with Bard aims to provide a “more personalized helper” than the relatively simplistic smartphone assistants (also including Alexa and Siri) we’ve grown accustomed to over the past decade. Google says Assistant with Bard can help with tasks like planning trips, searching emails, creating grocery lists and sending messages. You can interact with it through text, voice or images — more conversationally and with more contextual info than with the standard Google Assistant.
“Say you all decide to go on a hike with your dog, but you reach a fork in the trail,” said Hsiao during the product demo. “Snap a photo of the trail marker and ask, ‘What path do you recommend for a group and my small dog?’ And just like that, you know the North Trail is the best.” The demo then showed the user using Assistant with Bard to write a cute social caption for their dog. “This conversational overlay is a completely new way to interact with your phone and lets Assistant with Bard meet you wherever you are,” summarized Hsiao.
Google says the feature is in its early developmental stages and will soon launch for early testers. Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users will find out about expanded availability in the coming months, and the company adds that it will eventually be available on Android and iOS.
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