It is the product's biggest expansion since its March launch in the U.S. and the U.K. and heats up the rivalry with Microsoft's ChatGPT. This is a representational image. Unsplash

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is extending the availability of its artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, to Europe and Brazil.

This expansion marks the largest rollout of Bard since its initial launch in the United States and the United Kingdom in March.

The introduction of Bard intensifies the competition with Microsoft's ChatGPT, as both are examples of generative AI models capable of providing human-like responses to inquiries.

The introduction of Bard in the European Union faced delays due to privacy concerns raised by the main data regulator within the bloc.

However, it seems that these concerns have now been addressed, allowing for the launch of Bard in Europe.

The Irish Data Protection Commission expressed concerns regarding Alphabet's limited information on the privacy protection measures of its generative AI tool, Bard, which led to reservations about its launch in the European Union.

In response to these concerns, Alphabet stated that it had engaged with the regulators to address issues related to transparency, choice, and user control over their data.

During a media briefing, Amar Subramanya, the engineering vice president of Bard, mentioned that users would have the option to opt out of data collection. However, Subramanya refrained from commenting on any plans to develop a standalone Bard app.

"Bard is an experiment," he said.

"We want to be bold and responsible."

Google has introduced new features to Bard that are available worldwide. These enhancements include the capability for the chatbot to vocalize its responses and interact with prompts that incorporate images.

These additions aim to provide users with a more dynamic and immersive experience while engaging with Bard.

"Starting today, you can collaborate with Bard in over 40 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi and Spanish," Google senior product director Jack Krawczyk said in a blog post, BBC reported.

"Sometimes hearing something out loud can help you approach your idea in a different way. This is especially helpful if you want to hear the correct pronunciation of a word or listen to a poem or script."

According to Amar Subramanya, the engineering vice president of Bard, users now have the ability to customize the tone and style of Bard's responses. They can choose from options such as simple, long, short, professional, or casual, allowing for a more tailored conversational experience.

Additionally, users can utilize features like pinning or renaming conversations, exporting code to various platforms, and incorporating images into prompts. These features enhance the flexibility and usability of Bard, offering users greater control and versatility in their interactions with the chatbot.

The advancement of generative AI has generated significant attention and debate among global tech figures, leading some to advocate for a pause in its development.

The potential implications of AI technology are widely discussed, with varying viewpoints suggesting it could either bring about the downfall of humanity, address climate change, or potentially achieve both outcomes.

In recent months, companies have made substantial investments in AI, hoping to generate substantial revenue from advertising and cloud services.

Even newly established startups like Mistral AI have secured significant funding, such as an £86 million seed funding round, aimed at constructing and training large-scale language models.

This week, Elon Musk announced the establishment of xAI, an AI startup that includes a team comprising engineers who have previously worked at OpenAI and Google.

The emergence of such ventures underscores the continued interest and investment in the field of AI, with influential figures and industry players actively participating in its development.

Google is facing a new class action lawsuit in the United States regarding the alleged misuse of users' personal information for training Bard, its AI chatbot.

The complaint, filed in the San Francisco federal court, involves eight individuals who aim to represent millions of internet users and copyright holders.

They contend that Google's unauthorized data scraping from websites has violated their privacy rights and infringed upon their property rights.

The lawsuit alleges that Google's actions in collecting personal data without authorization are in violation of privacy regulations and result in a violation of property rights, specifically related to copyright.

"Google does not own the internet, it does not own our creative works, it does not own our expressions of our personhood, pictures of our families and children, or anything else simply because we share it online," the plaintiffs' attorney Ryan Clarkson said in a statement.

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