Google Bard Vocalizes Responses, Supports 40+ Languages

Even as other large language models (LLM)-based AI platforms face scrutiny from governments worldwide, Google has launched a multi-lingual version of its Bard chatbot in Europe and with many new features.

The struggle for Google’s Bard has been making the technology available in countries throughout the European Union (EU). The EU initially had been concerned over privacy regulation. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) that governs data protection in the EU when companies use Ireland as their European headquarters said while Google had informed the DPC of its intentions to launch Bard, it hadn’t, until now, provided the regulator with enough information to address data privacy concerns.

“We’ve proactively engaged with experts, policymakers and privacy regulators on this expansion,” Jack Krawczyk, Bard product lead at Google; and Amarnag Subramanya, vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post.

Bard, Google’s generative artificial intelligence tool (GAI), is now available in more than 40 languages such as Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, and Spanish, supporting countries such as Brazil and many across Europe.

The company also introduced unique features to Bard, though some are only available in English for now. One interesting feature is users can change the tone and style of Bard’s responses with five different options: simple, long, short, professional, and casual. A toggle takes users to Bard’s default responses.

Bard also can now vocalize its responses with support from a text-to-speech AI feature in all 40 languages.

Productivity features include the ability to export code to more places such as exporting Python code to Google Colab, as well as Replit, a browser-based integrated development environment.  Images can be used as prompts.

Google also said it is bringing Google Lens capabilities into Bard. This means users can upload images with prompts, and Bard will analyze the photo. This feature is live in English, with plans to expand to new languages soon.

All this as OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology comes under fire by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is investigating OpenAI, a company Microsoft invested billions of dollars in, for possibly harming individuals by publishing false information about them.

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