Google has announced the largest expansion of its conversational AI service, Bard, to 40 new languages, including Swahili, the first African language to be supported, and 59 new countries and territories.
The expansion also brings new features that enable users to customize their experience, enhance their creativity, and accomplish more tasks.
Google’s Bard is a conversational AI service that allows users to ask questions, explore ideas, and generate content using natural language. Bard draws on information from the web and Google’s large language models to provide responses that are informative, creative, and relevant.
Bard was launched in 2021 as an experimental technology that aims to democratize knowledge and augment imagination. Since then, it has been used by millions of people around the world for various purposes, such as learning, writing, coding, and entertainment.
Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, SSA, Google, said: “We’re excited that this is Bard’s largest expansion to date – we see its global availability as a great democratizer of knowledge. That’s why we created Bard: to help you explore that curiosity, augment your imagination and ultimately get your ideas off the ground — not just by answering your questions, but by helping you build on them.”
According to UNESCO, Swahili is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with more than 200 million speakers. The inclusion of more languages and territories will also help to make Bard more inclusive and safe, through feedback from a wider range of users.
Rachael Ndichu, Language Manager at Google, said: “The launch of Bard in Swahili is a major milestone as it allows Bard to reach even more people in Africa, where approximately 150 million people speak Swahili. This makes Bard more accessible to everyone in the region, and we believe that it has the potential to be a powerful tool for creativity and learning. We are excited to see how people in the region use Bard to explore their ideas and discover new things.”
The expansion also introduces new features that allow users to better customize their experience, boost their creativity, and get more done. Users can now listen to Bard’s responses by selecting the sound icon, which is especially helpful for hearing the correct pronunciation of a word or listening to a poem or script. Users can also adjust Bard’s responses by changing the tone and style of its responses to five different options: simple, long, short, professional or casual. This feature is live in English and will expand to new languages soon.
Additionally, Google has launched four new features to help users get more done. Users can now pin and rename their conversations with Bard, making it easier to revisit conversations that contain important information or ideas later. Users can also export Python code generated by Bard to Replit or Google Colab platforms for sharing or further development. Furthermore, users can share responses with friends using shareable links for collaboration or feedback. Lastly, users can upload images with prompts to Bard for generating captions or descriptions.