Google’s AI Chatbot Bard Gets Belated European Release

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, has recently made its Bard chatbot available to users in the European Union (EU) and Brazil. This artificial intelligence (AI) tool can now generate responses in over 40 languages, including Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish.

While Bard was launched in approximately 180 countries earlier this year, the EU was one of the last regions to gain access. The delay was primarily due to concerns regarding compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to Google. However, the company stated that it had engaged in productive conversations with privacy regulators in Europe and is committed to ongoing dialogue to ensure transparency, choice, and control.

Google’s senior product director, Jack Krawczyk, emphasized that the company will provide clear notices to users about how their data is used and stored. Additionally, users will have the option to prevent Google employees from reviewing their conversations, a practice employed by Google to enhance the product. These control options will be available globally, extending beyond the EU.

In the EU, the introduction of new tech products is often hindered by legislation. For instance, Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) has not launched its latest app, Threads, in the EU’s 27 countries. The company is awaiting clarification on how the EU will enforce new competition laws that restrict data consolidation among platforms.

The deployment of chat services built on large language models has previously faced obstacles in Europe due to existing data protection regulations. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, for example, was temporarily suspended in Italy due to similar concerns.

Google also announced that additional features will be introduced to Bard in specific regions. These features include the ability to hear spoken responses, upload images for analysis, and utilize the AI tool to analyze photos.

As Google expands the availability of Bard and introduces new features, the company remains committed to addressing privacy concerns, complying with regulations, and engaging in ongoing discussions with regulatory bodies to ensure transparency and user control.

Source: Bloomberg

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