Google Bard Debuts in Swahili, Expanding Language Reach


Google announced the expansion of Bard, its conversational AI service, to 40 new languages, including Swahili, which is the first African language to be included, and 59 new countries and territories.

This expansion brings new features that allow users to customize their experience, enhance their creativity, and be more productive.

With this expansion, Bard is now available in most parts of the world, including countries in the European Union (EU), and in the most widely spoken languages, such as Swahili, Chinese, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Hindi. Bard now allows users to access it in their preferred language, and it enables text-to-speech in eight languages.

Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, SSA, Google, expressed excitement about Bard’s global availability, seeing it as a great tool for democratizing knowledge. She said, “That’s why we created Bard: to help you explore your curiosity, expand your imagination, and ultimately bring your ideas to life—not just by answering your questions, but by helping you build upon them.”

UNESCO recognizes Swahili as one of the ten most widely spoken languages worldwide, with over 200 million speakers. The inclusion of more languages and territories will make Bard more inclusive and safer, thanks to feedback from a broader range of users.

Rachael Ndichu, Language Manager at Google, highlighted the significance of launching Bard in Swahili, as it allows Bard to reach even more people in Africa, where approximately 150 million people speak the language. This expansion makes Bard more accessible to everyone in the region, offering a powerful tool for creativity and learning.

As part of the expansion, several new updates have been launched. Users can listen to Bard’s responses in 40+ languages via the sound icon, aiding pronunciation and enjoyment of poems/scripts. Users can also adjust Bard’s responses by selecting from five different options: simple, long, short, professional, or casual. This feature is currently available in English and will expand to other languages soon.

Google has introduced four additional features to help users be more productive. Users can now pin and rename their conversations with Bard, making it easier to revisit important discussions or ideas later. The export code to more places feature allows users to export Python code to Replit, in addition to Google Colab, facilitating code sharing and collaboration. Users can share Bard’s responses with friends using shareable links, enhancing collaboration and feedback on projects. Lastly, users can now upload images with prompts to Bard, adding another dimension to their interactions.

Bard aims to combine the vast knowledge of the world with the power, intelligence, and creativity of Google’s language models. It utilizes information from the web to provide responses. As an experimental technology, Bard may occasionally produce inaccurate statements in response to user prompts. Google encourages users to provide feedback if they encounter any issues or inaccuracies in Bard’s responses.

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