Google Bard received a big update on February 1, that adds multiple new capabilities to the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot. The most notable upgrade is the image generation capability, and it will now be able to generate images from text inputs. However, it still cannot produce image-to-image outputs. Alongside, the tech giant also expanded Google Bard to more than 230 countries and territories, and said that it will now support more than 40 languages. The update came just a day after Google revealed in its quarterly earnings call that Google Bard Advanced, powered by Gemini Ultra, will come with a paid subscription.
Google made the announcement via a blog post where it highlighted the list of upgrades for the AI chatbot. The addition of the AI image generator is a late but big move for the company given many of its rivals such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus, Microsoft Copilot, and Baidu’s Ernie Bot had this feature for a while. Google Bard’s image generation capabilities come from the Imagen 2 model, which also powers the tech giant’s other AI products such as under-testing ImageFX and Vertex AI.
Google Bard’s AI image generator features
The new AI image generator will be able to take text inputs from prompts that can be multiple paragraphs long. Google claims that the generated images will be of high quality, wide-ranging, and photorealistic. We, at Gadgets 360, tested the feature ourselves and found that the AI model did a fairly decent job of generating good-quality images faithful to the prompt. However, all the images generated have a resolution of 1536×1536, which cannot be changed. The images are also not photorealistic and can easily be distinguished as digitally created in most cases. Further, the chatbot refuses to fulfil any requests that require it to generate images of real-life people, which is likely to minimize the risks of deepfakes (creating AI-generated images of people and objects, which appear real).
Additionally, Google has also used SynthID to make the images created through Google Bard to be easily identifiable as AI-generated. Google’s DeepMind division unveiled SynthID, a tool for watermarking and detecting AI-generated images, in August 2023. “This technology embeds a digital watermark directly into the pixels of an image, making it imperceptible to the human eye, but detectable for identification,” the company said at the time of launch.
Apart from adding image generation capabilities, Google has also expanded Bard to more than 230 countries and territories. Additionally, it now supports more than 40 languages including Arabic, Bengali, Tamil, and Urdu. Previously, it was available in 170 countries and only supported English.
The tech giant has also added its ‘double-check’ feature in all of the languages. Double check allows users to know the parts of the response that come from a referenced source on the internet along with citations. It also highlights the parts that are not based on any reference. This feature was added to keep AI hallucinations, the instances of AI responding with incorrect responses confidently, to a minimum. It can be accessed by clicking the G icon underneath the generated response.
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