Google’s Bard expands to 59 new markets and adds 43 more languages

The Alphabet-owned company has also added additional features to Bard and new languages included Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi and Spanish

Launched in February, Google's Bard focuses on creating innovative ways to engage with information, from language and images to videos and audio. Reuters
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Google has launched its latest generative artificial intelligence tool Bard in 43 new languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi and Spanish, as competition in the market hots up.

The Alphabet-owned company, which is wrestling Microsoft-backed Bing and ChatGPT for a greater share of the generative AI market, also introduced Bard in 59 new places including Europe and Brazil.

With the latest announcement, now Bard is available in 46 languages and in 239 countries and territories.

“Bard is now available in most of the world, and in the most widely spoken languages,” Jack Krawczyk, director of product management at Google, told a select media briefing.

“As part of our bold and responsible approach to AI, we have proactively engaged with experts, policymakers and regulators on this expansion,” Mr Krawczyk said.

Originally launched in February, the new conversational AI service focuses on creating innovative ways to engage with information, from language and images to videos and audio.

In March, the company opened limited public access to select consumers in the US and the UK in the English language.

In May, Google removed the waiting list for Bard at its annual conference and introduced the technology in nearly 180 countries and territories, and added Japanese and Korean languages. However, Google avoided launching the service in Europe in the initial phases. At the time, industry experts speculated that local regulations might be the root cause.

Last month, the Irish Data Protection Commission reportedly said that Google had so far provided insufficient information about how its generative AI tool protects users' privacy to justify an EU launch.

“Before we made Bard available, we engage in a dialogue that is critical in terms of ensuring that our values are aligned with the geographies in which we are bringing our new service. One of the great parts of our conversation across Europe, especially with privacy regulators and critical stakeholders, has been related to product related privacy,” Mr Krawczyk said.

“Moreover, a large part of Bard is actually built in Europe … we have teams in multiple countries in Europe that allows us to deeply understand what it means to be in a [specific] geography and we develop our product that way,” he added.

The global generative AI market is expected to reach $188.62 billion by 2032, growing at an annual rate of more than 36 per cent, from $8.65 billion last year, data from The Brainy Insights market research company showed.

The North American region dominated the market in last year.

Generative AI could also drive a 7 per cent – or almost $7 trillion – increase in the global economy and lift productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points over a 10-year period, Goldman Sachs estimated.

To attract more users and to ensure Bard gives more contextual answers that better suit users’ needs, the Alphabet-owned company has also introduced updates to its generative AI.

Now users can also listen to Bard’s responses. This is helpful if they want to hear the correct pronunciation of a word or listen to a poem or script. They need to enter a prompt and select the sound icon to hear Bard’s answers in over 40 languages.

Users can now also change the tone and style of Bard's responses to five options – simple, long, short, professional or casual. For example, they can ask Bard to help write a marketplace listing for a vintage armchair, and then shorten the response using the drop-down. Thus far, this feature is live in English and will expand to new languages soon, Google said.

Google said data privacy remains a key component of all these initiatives.

“As we bring Bard to more regions and languages over time, we will continue to use our AI principles as a guide, incorporate user feedback, and take steps to protect people’s privacy and data,” Mr Krawczyk said.

Now users can also share part or all of their Bard chat with their network through shareable links and they can also use images in their prompts.

Whether you want more information about an image or need inspiration for image text, you can now upload images with prompts and Bard will analyse the photo to help. This feature is now live in English, and we will expand to new languages soon,” Mr Krawczyk said.

Updated: July 13, 2023, 7:00 AM