- Google launched a new feature that connects its AI assistant, Bard, to Google apps like Gmail.
- The selling point of the feature is that it can access personal data and customize responses.
- I tried Bard Extensions on my Gmail, online searches, and to book a flight. Here’s how it went.
Google rolled out an update to its ChatGPT competitor, Bard, last week, that includes a new feature called Bard Extensions. The feature essentially integrates a host of Google tools like Gmail, Docs, and Drive into Bard, allowing it to access a user’s data and customize responses accordingly. It’s a pretty big selling point given the fact that most AI assistants right now can’t automatically tailor their responses to include your personal details.
For example, you can now ask Bard to summarize the last five emails your friend sent you, and ask it to help you draft a response. Or, you can ask Bard to book flights, hotels, and even plan an itinerary for an upcoming trip by cross-referencing the dates in your email, as demonstrated in a video Google released for the feature. For those who are worried about AI’s tendency to hallucinate, Bard even has a fact-checking feature that lets you cross-reference its responses with Google search.
Bard Extensions isn’t perfect, though. In an episode of the New York Times podcast Hard Fork, reporter Kevin Roose said he tested out the feature, and found that it couldn’t handle more complicated tasks like drafting emails in his tone of voice. “Bard Extensions, does not feel ready for prime time to me,” he said.
While Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment, a spokesperson told the New York Times that the capabilities of Bard Extensions are mostly limited to retrieving and summarizing information, not analyzing it, and that “trial and error is still definitely required at this point.”
So, I decided to put Bard Extensions to the test on my own Gmail, to book a flight, and on Google search. Here’s how the experience went.