Google’s Bard AI chatbot is no longer limited to pulling answers from just the web — it can now scan your Gmail, Docs, and Drive to help you find the information you’re looking for. With the new integration, you can ask Bard to do things like find and summarize the contents of an email or even highlight the most important points of a document you have stored in Drive.
There’s a whole range of use cases for these integrations, which Google calls extensions, but they should save you from having to sift through a mountain of emails or documents to find a particular piece of information. You can then have Bard use that information in other ways, such as putting it into a chart or creating a bulleted summary. This feature is only available in English for now.
While giving Bard access to your personal email and documents will raise concerns about privacy and data usage, Google says that it won’t use this information to train Bard’s public model, nor will it be seen by human reviewers. You also don’t have to turn on the integrations with Gmail, Docs, and Drive. Google will ask you to opt in first, and you can disable it at any time.
To use the feature, Jack Krawczyk, the product lead of Bard, tells The Verge you can either have Bard directly search within your Gmail, for example, by prefacing your question with @mail. Or, you could just simply ask, “Check my email for information related to my upcoming flight.”
“It’s the first time a language model product is truly integrating with your personal data”
Bard’s extensions aren’t limited to just Gmail, Docs, and Drive, either. Google also announced that the chatbot will also connect with Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights. This means you can now ask Bard to pull real-time flight information, find nearby attractions, surface YouTube videos on a certain topic, and a lot more. Google will enable these three extensions by default.
“The reason we’re starting with this experiment… is primarily because it’s the first time a language model product is truly integrating with your personal data,” Krawczyk says. “We want to make sure we get that right.” Krawczyk adds that Google plans on expanding Bard’s integrations to more “products across Google as well as partners outside of Google.”
Google is making some other notable improvements to Bard, too. That includes a new way to double-check Bard’s answers through the chatbot’s “Google It” button. While the button previously let you search for topics related to Bard’s answer on Google, it will now show whether Bard’s answers contain information that Google Search corroborates or contradicts.
When you press the “Google It” button on supported answers, Google will highlight the information verified by Search in green, while any unvalidated answers will be highlighted in orange. You can mouse over the highlighted sentences for more context on what Bard might’ve gotten right or wrong. Google is also adding a way to continue a conversation with Bard based on a shared link, allowing you to build on a question someone has already asked.
Since introducing Bard in February, Google has been gradually adding more features, including the ability to generate and debug code, as well as create functions for Google Sheets. Google recently added support for Google Lens in Bard, letting you use the tool to brainstorm caption ideas for a photo or find more information about it.
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