Google Assistant is getting Bard AI — what this means for you

Google Assistant logo on a smartphone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has confirmed its 7-year-old Google Assistant will soon be able to provide users with even more help, thanks to the power of AI. Assistant with Bard will leverage the company’s ChatGPT rival to help users get through their to-do lists in record quick time. The company says Assistant with Bard can help you plan your next trip, find details buried in your inbox, create personalised grocery lists, and even send texts.

“All like a true assistant would,” quipped Assistant and Bard Vice-President Sissie Hsiao in a statement released following today’s Made By Google event.

As its name implies, Assistant with Bard is powered by Bard’s generative and reasoning capabilities. These capabilities are being added to Assistant’s personalized help features to create a digital assistant that’s also intuitive and intelligent. If that’s not impressive enough for you, wait till you hear that it will also be integrated with Google services such as Gmail and Docs. Which is something previewed back at Google I/O earlier this year but we’ve yet to see it roll out for public use. 

Overall, this is set to be a combination of Google products that could prove to be deadly for other generative AI competitors.

You’ll be able to interact with Google’s AI assistant through text, voice or images - just like with ChatGPT following its recent upgrade. It will be available on both Android and iOS devices.

Google Bard logo with other Google service logos around it, provided by Google

(Image credit: Google)

We’ll have to wait to get our hands on Assistant with Bard to find out exactly what the AI assistant is and isn’t willing to help us do, but Hsiao gave a little teaser of how you could use the new Google product as a personal social media manager.

Android users will be able to take a photo using their phone and float the Assistant with Bard overlay on top of that photo. You can then ask it to write a social media post for you. The Assistant will be able to grab the photo and create a caption that’s ready for your followers to see.

“This conversational overlay is a completely new way to interact with your phone,” said Hsiao, adding that users will be able to choose individual privacy settings to suit their needs.

Google described Assistant with Bard as “an early experiment” that will be rolled out to early testers soon to get their feedback. The rest of us will have to wait for its public launch set to happen in “the next few months”.

Google Assistant with Bard

(Image credit: Google)

Battle of the assistants?

Bing with ChatGPT vs Google Bard

(Image credit: Microsoft/Google/Tom's Guide)

Consider the Assistant’s capabilities in isolation and you’ll find ChatGPT is already able to craft social media posts and you could already send to attend meetings on your behalf.

But what will be exciting for the hundreds of millions of users who were already using Google Assistant (with its soon-to-be surpassed capabilities) is if Google will truly master the integration aspect of Assistant with Bard. Since products like Calendar, Docs, and Gmail are in-house products, we’d expect and hope the experience is seamless.

As different AI products continue to deliver impressive results in their own niches, companies are already thinking of ways to combine AI capabilities to create AI assistants. Windows 11 for instance just got a big new update that added the new Copilot virtual assistant. Among a list of growing capabilities, Microsoft’s AI assistant can read the texts from your phone and then write a response for you depending on the context and act as your personal tech support department. Too lazy to read this article? Copilot can also summarize it for you.

Over at Apple where its staff are working on the so-called "Apple GPT", the Siri voice assistant may also end up in the running as the AI assistant to have, if and when it gets an AI upgrade.

If this trend continues, instead of hunting down the perfect generative AI app, we’ll soon be ranking the best assistants that know how to combine the tools that are out there to give you the best possible results. In a few years, the concept of the ‘everything app’ may very well be scrapped in favour of an ‘everything assistant’.

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Christoph Schwaiger

Christoph Schwaiger is a journalist who mainly covers technology, science, and current affairs. His stories have appeared in Tom's Guide, New Scientist, Live Science, and other established publications. Always up for joining a good discussion, Christoph enjoys speaking at events or to other journalists and has appeared on LBC and Times Radio among other outlets. He believes in giving back to the community and has served on different consultative councils. He was also a National President for Junior Chamber International (JCI), a global organization founded in the USA. You can follow him on Twitter @cschwaigermt.