Google’s Bard chatbot gets the Gemini Pro update globally

Google announced today that its Bard chatbot is now powered by the Gemini Pro model globally with support for over 40 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.

In December, Google launched its new generative AI models with flagship Gemini Ultra, “lite” Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano, which is designed to run on devices like the Pixel 8. At the same time, the company updated Bard with Gemini Pro for conversations in English. Google didn’t quantify the improvements but said that the chatbot will be better in terms of understanding and summarizing content, reasoning, brainstorming, writing, and planning.

Bard has gone through a few iterations on the backend. At the time of its original unveiling in February 2023, it was powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications); later in the year it was updated with a new model called PaLM 2; now Bard powered by Gemini Pro will be available in more than 230 countries. Yep, these names and versions are confusing.

In September, Google launched a “Double check” feature that leveraged Google Search to evaluate if it returned similar results to what Bard generated. At that time, the feature was only available in English. Google is now extending support for more than 40 languages.

Additionally, the search giant is introducing image generation support through the Imagen 2 model, which was released in December. Currently, the feature has support for only English. Users can type a query like “create an image of a futuristic car” in the chatbot interface.

Example of an image generated through Bard Image Credits: Google

The company said that images created by Bard will have a SynthID digital watermark — developed by Deepmind — embedded in pixels. However, you have to use Google’s tools to identify those images.

Image Credits: Google

In October, the company infused Google Assistant with Bard’s AI capabilities so users can do things like plan a trip or make a grocery list. In November, it opened up Bard in English to teenagers with restrictions that prevent Bard from generating unsafe content such as illegal or age-gated substances.

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