Google has announced at Google I/O today, the removal of most waitlist restrictions for its generative AI chatbot, Bard, making it more widely available in English, with additional languages like Korean and Japanese to follow soon. The company seeks to get Bard into more people’s hands and receive their feedback. The chatbot, which will be expanded to the top 40 languages in the near future, is being developed responsibly and referred to as an experiment rather than a beta. Google also plans to add multimodal content to Bard, delivering answers through rich visuals in addition to text. Bard was first launched in March this year, following its announcement in February.
Sissie Hsiao, the Vice President, and GM for Assistant and Bard at Google made the official announcement in a blog post, stating that as they continue to improve the chatbot and introduce new features, they want Bard to be accessible to a larger user base. Hsiao also mentioned that the chatbot will soon be available in over 180 countries and territories, with more to follow.
At a press event prior to the conference, John Krawczyk, the Senior Product Director at Google and one of the leads on Bard, announced that they will be adding other languages separately as a safety measure. He noted that the chatbot is being developed with responsibility as a central theme, and the company is cautious about its expansion.
Google is working on making Bard more visual, and the chatbot will be able to deliver rich visual content to enhance user experience. For instance, when asked about popular sights in New Orleans, users will receive pictures as well as helpful responses in addition to text. While for now, rich visuals mean pictures, maps, charts and other items are expected to be added in the future.
Bard, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, answers questions in natural language, using its generative AI capabilities. It was first launched in March after its announcement in February. With the lifting of most waitlist restrictions, Google seeks to expand the chatbot’s reach and receive feedback from a larger group of users.