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Google brings its AI chatbot Bard into its inner circle, opening door to Gmail, Maps, YouTube

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NEW YORK, Sept 19: Google is introducing Bard, its artificially intelligent chatbot, to other members
of its digital family — including Gmail, Maps and YouTube — as it seeks ward off competitive threats
posed by similar technology run by Open AI and Microsoft.
Bard’s expanded capabilities announced on Tuesday will be provided through an English-only
extension that will enable users to allow the chatbot to mine information embedded in their Gmail
accounts as well as pull directions from Google Maps and find helpful videos on YouTube. The
extension will also open a door for Bard to fetch travel information from Google Flights and extract
information from documents stored on Google Drive.
Google is promising to protect users’ privacy by prohibiting human reviewers from seeing the
potentially sensitive information that Bard gets from Gmail or Drive, while also promising that the
data wont used as part of the main way the Mountain View, California, company makes money —
selling ads tailored to peoples interests.
The expansion is the latest development in an escalating AI battle triggered by the popularity of
OpenAIs ChatGPT chatbot and Microsofts push to infuse similar technology in its Bing search engine
and its Microsoft 365 suite that includes its Word, Excel and Outlook applications.
ChatGPT prompted Google to release Bard broadly in March and then start testing the use of more
conversational AI within its own search results in May.
The decision to feed Bard more digital juice in the midst of a high-profile trial that could eventually
hobble the ubiquitous Google search engine that propels the USD 1.7 trillion empire of its corporate
parent, Alphabet Inc.
In the biggest US antitrust case in a quarter century, the US Justice Department is alleging Google
has created its lucrative search monopoly by abusing its power to stifle competition and innovation.
Google contends it dominates search because its algorithms produce the best results. It also argues
it faces a wide variety of competition that is becoming more intense with the rise of AI.
Giving Bard access to a trove of personal information and other popular services such as Gmail,
Google Maps and YouTube, in theory, will make them even more helpful and prod more people to
rely in them.
Google, for instance, posits that Bard could help a user planning a group trip to the Grand Canyon by
getting dates that would work for everyone, spell out different flight and hotel options, provide
directions from Maps and present an array of informative videos from YouTube. (AP)

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