While the AI race has been picking up pace, many have been rolling out features to their own generative AI products. Google launched Bard back in March 2023, expanding its availability to many countries (including the MENA region) in May after Google IO. However, it’s been limited to English and a select few languages.
Arabic support for Bard is officially now available for users everywhere, accompanied with Hindi and more widely popular languages.
Arabic powered by PaLM 2
For a language like Arabic with various dialects across the MENA region, Google has supported the language across it’s family of products. Bringing support for it to Bard looked like a monumental challenge, especially with generative AI.
All of this has been made possible by Google’s latest language model ‘PaLM2’ (via Google Arabic blog). Recognising the intricacies of the language, Bard can understand 16 distinct colloquial Arabic dialects. Responses in Arabic would be givena in Modern Standard Arabic.
Ever noticed some people who tend to mix Arabic and another language (also known as code-switching)? Bard also has the ability to understand it. This will be helpful for those in the Levant region
The Arabic interface has been fully engineered to align with the flow of Arabic text, naturally supporting right-to-left script and making it more user friendly.
Some additional rollouts
With the rollout of additional languages, Google did also highlight a few new worthy additions for the MENA region (even though some are currently supported in English).
- Google Lens capabilities: upload an image and ask Bard for information about an image or ask it to make a caption based on the image. Live in English and with plans to support the existing additional languages in the future.
- Different response styles: Change the tone and style of Bard’s responses to five different options: simple, long, short, professional or casual. Live in English and with plans to support the existing additional languages in the future.
- Audio Responses: Listen to Bard’s responses using audio, making it even more accessible. This feature works in over 40 languages including Arabic.
- Share responses with friends: Share part or all of your Bard chat with your network. With shareable links, you can share your ideas and creations with others.
Given the different demographics in the MENA region, Bard’s support for more popular languages will definitely incentivise its uptake.
Image Credit: Google Blog