Google announced at the Google I/O event yesterday that it is expanding the availability of its generative AI chatbot, Bard, in English by removing most waitlist restrictions. The company plans to continue improving the chatbot with a larger user base.
Also, a variety of new features would be introduced to the AI chatbot, such as support for additional languages (including Japanese and Korean), visual search, easier text export to Google Docs and Gmail, and a dark mode.
Sissie Hsiao, the Vice President and General Manager for Assistant and Bard at Google, announced in a blog post that the chatbot is now available in over 180 countries in English, with more to come.
In her words, “As we continue to make additional improvements and introduce new features, we want to get Bard into more people’s hands so they can try it out and share their feedback with us. So today we’re removing the waitlist and opening up Bard to over 180 countries and territories — with more coming soon”.
At a press event prior to the conference, John Krawczyk, the Senior Product Director at Google and one of Bard’s leads, announced that Korean and Japanese versions of the chatbot will soon be launched, with plans to add more languages to the top forty in the near future.
Google is taking a cautious approach to expanding the chatbot’s language capabilities, citing responsibility as a top priority. The company referred to the chatbot as an “experiment” rather than a beta, and emphasized responsible development throughout the press event.
In a blog post in February, Google introduced Bard and later launched the chatbot in March through a now-defunct waitlist. Bard, similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, is an AI chatbot that uses natural language to answer questions.