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4 new ways to use Bard AI 🌟
Google’s chatbot has new features... and flaws
Google’s Bard is improving as an alternative to ChatGPT. Read on for Bard’s best new tricks and its limitations. Plus: what each of the leading AI tools does best.
Fact check your AI queries
Bard has a new fact-checking button. Press the “G” button to have Google fact-check Bard’s AI response. Sentences highlighted in green are backed up by at least one Web source. To see that reference, click on the green text. Sentences in brown are dubious — they lack a clear origin source online.
Why Bard’s new fact-checking button is necessary: AI chatbots love to please you. That’s why they’ll make up stuff or “hallucinate,” serving up answers they think you want. Generative AI services are language engines, not information engines. They’re excellent at generating language but not reliable for facts/knowledge. That’s why Google is giving Bard a fact-checking button.
Query your Google Docs
Bard can now analyze your Google Docs, Gmail and Google Drive files. I fed Bard a Google Doc with a long transcript of a workshop I led and it helpfully summarized the session. Other useful queries: pull out notable quotes, compare multiple documents, and suggest additions or revisions for a given doc.
Caveat: In my tests, Bard sometimes failed to locate a doc I asked about or analyzed irrelevant docs. When it did work, the results were helpful.
Bard’s Privacy notice: Google says content from your Gmail, Docs and Drive is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads, or used to train the Bard model. But its privacy page also says “Please don’t enter confidential information in your Bard conversations or any data you wouldn’t want a reviewer to see…”
Explore maps and flights with AI
Bard’s new “extensions” allow it to search in other services, such as Google Maps and Google Flights. That’s useful for comparing routes, checking on potential flight costs, or estimating how long a trip might take.
Caveat: When I asked Bard about the best time to book a February flight to Italy, it confusingly gave me conflicting responses depending on whether Bard used its own AI or queried Google Flights.
Find helpful YouTube videos
Bard can answer queries with relevant YouTube videos. That’s useful if you want to better understand a complex topic or learn how to do something. You can search YouTube directly, but because Bard understands ordinary language, it can provide helpful videos even if you don’t know what keywords to look for.
Other Bard benefits
Create a table. Bard can structure replies in table format, which is useful if you’re generating a feedback rubric, assessing pros and cons, or comparing products. Bard can also helpfully export the table into a Google spreadsheet. It can also export responses to a Google Doc or a Gmail draft.
Build on others’ queries. If you’re collaborating with someone, you can take their query about urban planning, for example, or one about badminton’s rules, and follow-up or elaborate on it. Alternatively, you can find prompts online and adapt them for your purposes.
Multiple drafts. Bard offers two alternatives to each of its responses so you can pick one that suits you.
Query in any of 40 languages. Bard also lets you revise any of its responses to be simpler, longer, shorter, more professional or more casual.
Some of Bard’s new AI tricks didn’t work well for me.
Gmail fail. I prompted Bard numerous times to query my Gmail; in each case it analyzed a few random email messages and provided negligible insight. Your results may vary depending on how you use Gmail and how specific a query you provide.
Picture flop. My experiments testing Bard’s image analysis left me unimpressed. Example: I uploaded a Times Square image to Bard and though it correctly identified New York City, it inexplicably dated the recent picture to the mid 20th century, even though it correctly identified some of the billboard advertisements for new products and musicals.
When to use each AI chat tool
Use Bard to… fact-check AI results with Google. See Bard’s FAQ.
Use Claude to… analyze a huge document of up to 70,000 words. Read more.
Use Poe to… interact with your own custom AI bot. Read more about Poe.
Use ChatGPT to… get high-quality creative responses. See 7 ways to use it.
Use ChatGPT Plus to… capitalize on plug-ins like these useful add-ons.
Use Pi to… get casual coaching or conversation w/ a friendly AI. Read more.
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