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How Google Bard can help you look for things in Docs and Gmail

Google has just introduced several updates to Bard, its AI chatbot. These fresh features involve extensions that link Bard with various components of Google’s suite, such as Gmail, Docs, and YouTube. This move underscores the company’s ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence, positioning it as a significant component of the upcoming wave of information retrieval.

While the initial take on Bard’s extensions might not be too exciting, those dealing with heaps of unread Gmail messages or a pile of ancient Google Docs might see the update as somewhat intriguing.

However, it’s essential to carefully consider the privacy aspects before engaging with any chatbot. Google’s announcement provides some assurance: “If you choose to use the Workspace extensions, your content from Gmail, Docs and Drive is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads, or used to train the Bard model.” Does that offer sufficient reassurance for you? Here’s a guide on how to activate the updates for Bard and some tips to bear in mind.

Also read: How to master the art of managing Android notifications

Google Bard

Use the Google Bard extension on Chrome

To engage with Bard, you’ll have to set up a Google account if you don’t already have one. After logging in, accessing Bard is as straightforward as visiting the website in your browser.

Right on Bard’s main page, you can enable connections to various Google services like Google Flights, Google Hotels, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Workspace, encompassing Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive. The good part is that you can toggle each of these extensions on and off independently.

Should you opt to activate the Workspace extension, remember to use tags to specify what you want the chatbot to pay attention to, such as @docs, @drive, or @gmail.

Don’t expect too much from the Chrome Extension

When you’re dealing with the latest Bard extensions, it’s wise to lower your expectations. Many AI features unveiled in 2023 are labeled as experiments, and Bard’s update falls into this category. Its primary goal is to prioritize the most recent emails in your Gmail.

It’s a good practice to verify the information you receive from a chatbot. With the extensions, Bard occasionally seemed to make things up and misinterpret the context of information it had retrieved from my emails and other documents.

In their current somewhat chaotic condition, how can you make the most of the Bard extensions? Well, suppose you have an email or document you’re trying to track down, but you can’t recall the details, just the general topic it covers. This situation appears to be the ideal scenario for the updated Bard. Whether it’s about video games or swimming pools, the chatbot can unearth information related to various topics.

Also read: Google Sheets tips and tricks: How to group rows and columns?

Google Bard

Google Bard can still make your life easy

Another intriguing application for the new extension is its capacity to offer feedback on your writing. When you request Bard to pinpoint any emails that could be improved, it retrieves messages from Gmail and offers valuable suggestions on adjusting the tone and making them more concise.

While Silicon Valley often promotes AI assistants as productivity enhancers, the Bard update is far from resembling the anthropomorphic AI in the movie “Her.” Setting aside grandiose expectations, Bard has a significant distance to go before it feels like a reliable assistant. As of now, the classic, straightforward search bar at the top of my inbox continues to be the simplest method to locate precisely what I’m seeking (and I can be certain it’s not generated by AI).