Google’s Bard Offers Amazing AI Assistance: But at What Cost to Privacy?

Have you ever had the feeling that big tech is spying on you? Well, wait until you get a load of Google Bard’s new features that promise to make life easier than ever. Be careful what you say in that next email!

Bard Brings AI to Google’s Consumers

In mid-September, Google took the next step in bringing the power of AI to consumers.

No longer will Google Bard be limited to the data it already knows about or even the information it can pull from the web.

No, Google vows to make your next Bard encounter more personal than you could have ever dreamed of…or feared.

Bard Is Integrated With Popular Google Products

Specifically, Google has rolled out integrations between Bard and many of its other popular products. You may have heard of them – Gmail, Docs, and Drive.

So, what exactly can Bard do when it comes to bringing AI to your personal docs and communication? The better question might be, what can’t it do? Or maybe to the point, where will it stop?

And Can Provide High-Level Help

Called Bard Extensions, the new integrations can search your email and documents and provide summaries of particular messages or drives.

And, with the right prompting, Bard can even do some pretty fancy assistant-level stuff.

Want to pull up that project schedule the boss jotted down in an email two years ago, but you don’t want to wade through thousands of related messages to get to the answer?

Bullet-Point Summaries of Emails

Just tell Bard what you’re looking for in plain English, and you’ll have your answer, or at least potential answers, in mere seconds.

You can also ask Bard to pull data out of docs or messages and build charts or tables to help visualize the information. 

Or, you could ask for a bullet-point summary of that massive legalese email that HR sent out just before Christmas break with policies that go into effect in the New Year.

Will Bard Know Too Much?

Of course, that whole bit about pulling data out of docs and “legalese” might raise the hair on the back of your neck.

After all, if Bard has access to all your information, couldn’t that spell trouble down the road?

Privacy Is Promised

Not according to Google representatives who say Google won’t use your data to train Bard’s model. And they also promise that no humans other than you will see the information you give Bard access to.

They even vow not to use your information to figure out which ads to show you while you’re browsing the net.

That’s good news for anyone who’s had that indescribable “watched” feeling when an ad pops up related to a phone conversation you just had with your mom.

You Can Opt Out of Using Bard

The other good news, for now at least, is that you don’t have to opt in to letting Bard get at all your stuff.

Right now, Google is terming these features an “experiment,” and you have to actively turn on the Google Workspace Bard Extension in order for it to gain access to your information.

But, like many other big tech experiments, you have to wonder how long it will be before Bard is listening by default.

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