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Sunday, July 23, 2023

Considerable Bard Updates

Google Bard Updated With Text to Speech, 40 New Languages

Bard is getting more capable, but it's still not trustworthy.

By Ryan Whitwam July 14, 2023

Bard AI

Credit: Google

Google was caught off-guard earlier this year when Microsoft decided to make generative AI its new focus. Despite inventing the transformer algorithms that make bots like ChatGPT possible, Google's answer to ChatGPT stumbled out of the gate. Google has been updating its Bard AI consistently in recent months, and the latest update is a big one. Finally, Bard can speak its replies.

Bard is a text-based generative AI, which means you can ask it anything, and it'll give you a response. It can do that because Bard has ingested a huge amount of written content, so it has the uncanny ability to generate text that sounds like a (boring) human being wrote it. On the flip side, some of the text Bard creates is not grounded in reality. So far, no one has figured out how to prevent these "hallucinations" in generative AI—ChatGPT suffers from the same shortcoming.

Google says it has now fed Bard enough content in an assortment of languages to expand the bot's services. It now works in 40 new languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, and Spanish. As part of the multilinguistic update, Bard has also expanded to Brazil and more of Europe.

Regardless of whether Bard's output is accurate, you can hear the results spoken in more than 40 languages now. Google says this is useful if you aren't sure of the pronunciation of a word. Just click the speaker icon to start Bard gabbing. Should you find yourself unsatisfied with the response, there are also new tools to change that. The buttons at the bottom of the conversation window now let you alter the AI's tone and style. For example, you can make a reply more casual, shorter, more professional, and so on. This feature is only supported in English right now, but more languages are coming.

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