It makes sense for the generative AI engine Google Bard to add some of its smarts to the Google Assistant tool that’s been setting alarms and looking up facts on the web for years – and that’s exactly what Google has just announced at its Made by Google 2023 event.
Assistant with Bard is described as “a step towards a more personal assistant” by Google exec Sissie Hsiao, and it builds on the recently added integrations between Bard and other Google products like Gmail and Google Drive.
So, for example, you could ask Assistant with Bard to highlight the most important emails you’ve had this week for you, or get the tool to write a social media post for you, to accompany a photo of your very cute puppy.
Another demo Google ran through was checking where a party was (based on a Gmail invite), finding out how long it would take to get there (via Google Maps), and then sending a text offering to travel there with a specific friend.
Personalization and reasoning
“[Assistant with Bard] combines Bard’s generative and reasoning capabilities with Assistant’s personalized help,” writes Hsiao. “You can interact with it through text, voice or images – and it can even help take actions for you.”
So you get all the creativity of Bard, plus the functionality of Google Assistant, plus the personalization offered by the integrations with other Google products. It’s a pretty comprehensive package, and it’s going to be available on Android and iOS over the next few months.
It looks as though some features will be exclusive to Android, because of Assistant’s deeper hooks into apps and settings on that platform. Google has also emphasized that the product will be “built with your privacy in mind” and have individual privacy settings – so we’ll wait and see what that means.
Generative AI was a big part of the multiple announcements at the Made by Google 2023 event today, from photo editing tricks on the Google Pixel 8 Pro to clearer voice calling on the Google Pixel Buds Pro. You can catch up on everything that happened on our Google Pixel 8 liveblog.
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