How to use Google Bard: What to do and what not to do

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  • Posted in Tech News
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Google Bard

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

At the same time that new artificial intelligence (AI) tools have dominated headlines with their innovative ideas and captivating abilities, Google’s own creation has been gaining attention for entirely different reasons

Google Bard is meant to be an assistive AI chatbot; a generative AI tool that can generate text for everything from cover letters and homework to computer code and Excel formulasquestion answers, and onto detailed translations. Similar to ChatGPT, Bard uses AI to provide human-like conversational responses when prompted by a user.

Bard’s performance, however, has been found lacking on more than one occasion. From its abysmal opening debut to its official launch, users have struggled to get the chatbot to provide accurate information or even follow along with a conversation without hallucinating.

How to use Google Bard

Bard homepage

Screenshot: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

To start using Google’s new chatbot, you’ll want to visit the Bard homepage by going to and then log in to your Google account. 

Log back into Google Bard

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Bard AI is pretty straightforward; you’ll be taken to the chat window once you log in. Like the other popular AI chatbots available for widespread use, the Google Bard chat window has been optimized to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Also: How to use ChatGPT: Everything you need to know

Here’s what you’ll find when you open the Bard window (pictured below):

  • New chat: The top option on the menu to the left side of the window will clear the current conversation and start a new one.
  • Text area: You can enter your questions or prompts at the bottom of the screen and hit enter or click Submit on the right to send them.
  • Microphone: Google Bard lets you dictate your prompts by clicking on the microphone within the text area.
  • Upload image: There is an Upload Image option to the left of the text area that lets you explore the Google Lens integration with Bard, where you can add images and ask Bard questions about them. 
  • Conversation: Your interaction with Bard AI will appear at the center of the chat window. After the AI chatbot replies to your queries, you’ll see that you can view other drafts for each response, and give a thumbs up or down to provide feedback. You also have the option to refresh for a new answer, select it, copy it to your clipboard, or report it.
  • Listen: You can listen to Bard’s response instead of reading it. Clicking on the speaker will make Bard read its response out loud. 
  • Edit: Next to your prompt in the chat window, you’ll see an Edit button; this allows you to edit your prompt to get a new answer, which can be useful if you realize you need to be more specific, but don’t want to rewrite your prompt.

Also: 4 ways generative AI can stimulate the creator economy

Menu on the top-right corner:

  • Bard Activity: Your conversations with Google Bard aren’t saved, but your prompts are. Clicking Bard Activity on the left will open a new tab with your prompt history.
  • Extensions: Bard can handle Extensions that enable it to connect with YouTube, Google Maps, Flights, and Hotel to provide richer responses. 
  • Help: If you’re struggling to use Google’s AI-powered tool, click on Help & Support to reach Bard Help or send feedback.
  • Settings: You can change the Bard theme to dark or light in Settings, and see and manage any links to chats you’ve created.
  • Google Apps: Since you’re logged in to your Google account to use Bard, you can access Google Apps next to Settings. 
  • Account: Your Google account is accessible in the top-right corner of the window. 

Google Bard

Here’s what the chat window looks like before sending any prompts.

Screenshot: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

At this point, you’re ready to start using Google’s Bard AI. Just enter your query in the text area and send it to the chatbot to see (or hear) its response. 

Bard Window

Here’s an example of a response from Bard.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET


What can I ask Google Bard?

The Bard AI chatbot can answer most questions you ask since it uses the search tools from Google. These AI-based answers can serve many purposes, from giving you recipes to helping you debug code. 

Also: How to write better ChatGPT prompts (and this applies to most other text-based AIs, too)

Here are some examples of prompts you can ask the bot:

  • Write two to-do lists, one for daily household cleaning and another for maintenance
  • Write a —- plugin that does —–
  • What is at the center of the Earth?
  • Write a poem for a trashbag that fell in love with a reusable water bottle
  • Define XML

As with all AI chatbots, it’s important to refrain from giving Bard any personally identifiable information or private information that you don’t want to be shared. Even if generative AI tools say they are private, personal information isn’t something that should be used to test that claim. 

Does Bard provide inaccurate answers?

When Bard AI was announced last February, it faced scrutiny after factual mistakes made during its demo. Users have subsequently wondered whether Google’s new chatbot still continues to provide inaccurate or inappropriate responses and whether it can be trusted, as some have come to trust other AI tools. 

Also: How does ChatGPT actually work?

Google has reiterated that Bard is an experiment capable of making mistakes. The company upgraded Bard to use it’s next-generation large language model, PaLM 2 — after launching the AI chatbot with its earlier model, LaMDA — and has made significant upgrades to the user experience through integrations with Gmail, Maps, Lens, and more. 

Does Bard AI save my conversations?

Google doesn’t save your entire interaction each time you chat with its chatbot, but it does save the prompts and questions you asked it. That being said, as a search engine, Google is known for being one of the largest trackers in the world, so giving its chatbot private information is probably not a great idea.

Also: Your Bard conversations are someone else’s Google results

Does Bard AI use GPT-4?

Bard uses Google’s proprietary large language model named PaLM 2 (Pathway Language Model), instead of the GPT series, which is the technology that many popular AI chatbots are using. 

Also: Google’s Bard AI says urgent action should be taken to limit (*checks notes*) Google’s power

Will Bard AI replace Google Search?

Google Bard and other AI chatbots, such as Bing Chat and ChatGPT, certainly have the potential to replace search engines. These AI tools use information found on the web to provide answers to users’ queries, but instead of giving them a list of websites where that answer may or may not be found, these tools provide a straightforward answer in a conversational manner. The drawback is that these answers may not always be accurate.

Also: 4 things Claude AI can do that ChatGPT can’t

Some people might use AI chatbots in place of Google Search, especially since the added abilities of asking follow-up questions and generating text make it more functional for some use cases than a search engine.

Does Google Bard have a waitlist?

For months now, Bard AI has only been accessible through a waitlist, but in May, the company announced during its Google I/O event that it’s ending the waitlist access program and opening up its new AI tool to over 180 countries and territories. Now anyone who logs in with their Google account can access Bard AI; no need to wait. 

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