Google Imbues Google Assistant With Bard Generative AI
Google has revealed plans to infuse Google Assistant with Bard’s generative AI capabilities. The aptly named Assistant with Bard will roll out to customers in the coming months, giving the multimodal AI the capacity to understand voice commands, text, and visual input in the near future starting with mobile devices.
Assistant With Bard
Google envisions Assistant with Bard as an augmented version of the nearly two-decade-old voice assistant. The company envisions an assistant with the current knowledge and capabilities of Google Assistant boosted by the reasoning and communication facets of Bard’s generative AI to be more proactive and varied in its help. For example, Google suggested users could show Assistant with Bard a photo and ask it to draft a related social media post. Or they could request help organizing travel plans, summarizing recent important emails, and carry out more direct commands as well.
“We think your digital assistant should make it even easier to manage the big and small items on your to-do list — like planning your next trip, finding details buried in your inbox, creating a grocery list for your weekend getaway or sending a text. All like a true assistant would,” Google Assistant and Bard vice president and general manager Sissie Hsiao explained in a blog post introducing Assistant with Bard. “It combines Bard’s generative and reasoning capabilities with Assistant’s personalized help. You can interact with it through text, voice or images — and it can even help take actions for you. In the coming months, you’ll be able to access it on Android and iOS mobile devices. We’re building Assistant with Bard to be a more personalized helper that’s integrated with some of the Google services you already use, like Gmail and Docs — making it even easier to stay on top of the most important things in your life.”
The integration highlights Google’s accelerated push into generative AI to rival breakout sensation ChatGPT. After some public mishaps during Bard’s unveiling at this year’s Google I/O developer conference, Google has incorporated Bard into its flagship consumer products at a steady clip. In what now seems a prelude to Assistant with Bard, Google gave the Bard chatbot the ability to pull answers from Gmail, Docs, and other Google productivity apps through Bard Extensions, allowing for personalized answers. Bard has also widened its language list, added image prompts, and, most relevantly to the Google Assistant plans, voice responses. In other words, Bard was already able to do a lot of what Google Assistant had been made for. And though Google Assistant added new voice options earlier this year, it’s mostly been discussed for what it has closed down, particularly the sunsetting of Google Conversational Actions in favor of Android apps. Making generative AI part of Google Assistant with Bard makes sense, though the strategy’s long-term success is still questionable.