Google expands Bard’s YouTube integration

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Google LLC on Tuesday released a new version of Bard that provides the ability to interact with YouTube videos using natural language prompts.

Originally introduced in March, Bard is the search giant’s answer to ChatGPT. Google has rolled out dozens of feature enhancements to the chatbot since its release. A few days before debuting the expanded YouTube integration, the search giant added a feature that allows Bard to analyze an equation and generate step-by-step instructions for solving it.

Google integrated the chatbot with YouTube in September. That update introduced the ability to search for videos through Bard’s natural language interface. Thanks to the expanded integration rolled out this week, users can now also have the chatbot answer questions about a clip’s contents.

The Verge tested the feature by asking Bard to summarize a recipe discussed in a YouTube video. The chatbot completed the task, but not on the first attempt. Bard failed to understand a prompt that asked it for the “full recipe” and only fetched the information when it was instructed to find “step by step instructions.”

In the brief release note that announced the expanded integration, Google said that “we’re taking the first steps in Bard’s ability to understand YouTube videos.” This suggests the search giant may be planning to further enhance the feature in the future. 

The integration is rolling out shortly after Google started testing a similar capability on YouTube. Earlier this month, users with a YouTube Premium subscription gained access to a new Ask button in the video sharing platform’s interface. Clicking the button launches a chatbot that can answer questions about a video’s contents similarly to Bard, as well as generate summaries and suggest related clips.

YouTube has also received other AI enhancements recently. In September, Google debuted Dream Screen, a tool that allows users to create background images for videos with natural language instructions. Additionally, the search giant is working on another generative AI feature that will be capable of creating entire clips.

Bard, meanwhile, has been integrated with not only YouTube but also other Google services. Alongside the YouTube integration that rolled out to the chatbot in September, Google added connectors for Gmail, Docs, Drive and Maps. Those connectors enable Bard to process user-provided information such as text documents. 

Bard is powered by a large language model called PaLM 2 that Google detailed in May. The model reportedly features 340 billion parameters and can understand user instructions more accurately than predecessor. Alongside the version of PaLM 2 that powers Bard, Google has developed multiple specialized editions optimized for tasks such as processing medical data and generating code. 

Image: Google

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