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Kickstart Your Journey with Google Bard: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google Bard is Google's latest attempt to streamline and simplify user interaction across its suite of services. It's not just another tool; it's a helpful resource meant to boost user productivity and make moving through various services like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive smoother. A recent article on gave us a first look at Google Bard’s new features, especially its integration with Google Workspace. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what Google Bard is, see how it compares to competitors like ChatGPT and Bing, and explore the specific queries it can handle.

Google Bard: Conversational and Generative AI

At its core, Google Bard stands out as a conversational AI, designed to engage with users in a fluid and natural dialogue. Not only can it respond to inquiries and generate a myriad of creative text formats, but it also thoughtfully adheres to user instructions. Moreover, Bard embodies the characteristics of a generative AI, capable of crafting new text, ranging from poems and scripts to emails and letters, always aiming to meet your demands meticulously. Here’s a deeper dive into how Bard functions as both a conversational and generative AI:

Conversational AI

  • Bard is adept at addressing questions on a wide array of topics, providing answers that are both thorough and informative. Whether you ask, "What is the capital of France?" or ponder "What is the meaning of life?", Bard endeavors to respond in a comprehensive manner.

  • Engage in a dialogue with Bard about your day, your passions, or any topic of your choice. It strives to sustain the conversation, interacting with you in a substantive and meaningful manner.

Generative AI

  • Bard can be tasked with generating various creative text formats, including but not limited to poems, code, scripts, musical compositions, emails, and letters, always striving to meticulously meet your specifications.

  • Additionally, Bard can translate text between languages and compose diverse types of creative content, from poetry and code to scripts and musical pieces, ensuring your creative needs are met.

A comparative analysis: Bard vs. ChatGPT and Bing

In a digital arena where platforms like ChatGPT excel in conversational capabilities and Bing shines for its search functionalities, Google Bard introduces a distinctive approach. It provides a unified, integrated experience, seamlessly blending the diverse functionalities of Google Workspace to deliver a cohesive user journey. Here’s how Google Bard carves out its uniqueness against ChatGPT and Bing:

  • Extensive Training: Bard benefits from training on a dataset of text and code that surpasses the scale of those used for ChatGPT and Bing, enhancing its language understanding and knowledge breadth.

  • Powerful Infrastructure: Built on Google's robust AI infrastructure, Bard can generate responses with speed and efficiency, even for complex tasks, thanks to access to some of the world’s most potent computing resources.

  • Creative Writing Focus: Specifically engineered for creative writing tasks, Bard can generate poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, and stories, becoming a valuable asset for writers and creative professionals.

Moreover, Bard’s integration with Google Workspace sets it apart among large language models. It doesn’t just answer queries but also guides users through their digital tasks and requirements, offering a pathway that’s efficient and tailored to individual needs. From email management to spreadsheet navigation, Bard seeks to smooth every digital interaction and integrate it seamlessly. This integration enables Bard to access and process information from a myriad of Google apps and services, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights and hotels, offering advantages like:

  • Comprehensive Responses: Bard can utilize information from Google apps and services to deliver thorough and informative responses to user queries, such as summarizing an email inbox by accessing Gmail.

  • Task Automation: Bard can automate various tasks, like generating a meeting agenda based on a user’s calendar and emails or producing a report from sales data.

  • Personalized Recommendations: Bard can offer personalized recommendations, such as suggesting a restaurant based on a user’s dining history or a movie based on their previous ratings.

In essence, Bard’s integration with Google Workspace amplifies its capabilities, making it a more potent and versatile tool than other large language models, enabling it to provide more detailed responses, automate tasks, and offer personalized recommendations. Examples of practical applications of Bard’s integration include:

  • A salesperson might leverage Bard to craft a personalized sales pitch for a potential client, utilizing the client's contact information, email history, and social media activity.

  • A marketing manager could employ Bard to compile a list of potential customers for a new product launch, drawing from the company's customer database and Google Analytics data.

  • A customer service representative might utilize Bard to expedite issue resolution by accessing relevant information from the customer's account history and other Google apps.

While Bard's integration with the Google Workspace is still in development, it harbors the potential to transform our professional and personal digital interactions.

Accessing Google Bard

Operating Google Bard

Get Started with Google Bard by following the steps below. If you haven't configured Google Bard for your Workspace access yet, please proceed to the next section titled, “Integrating Google Workspace.”

  • Go to in a web browser.

  • Sign in with your Google account.

  • In the text box at the bottom, enter your question or prompt.

  • Press Enter or click the "Submit" button.

Integrating Google Workspace

Integrating Bard into your Google Workspace is a breeze, and once set up, the possibilities are endless. From drafting emails to organizing files, Bard promises to be the executive assistant every business leader has been waiting for. Note that we understand that not every business operates within the Google ecosystem. Therefore, we've tailored the content below for individual users using Google Workspace personally, ensuring accessibility for all. Follow the steps below to initiate your integration.

  • Click here to access the Google Bard extension page.

  • Make sure all switches are in the "on" position, especially the one labeled "Google Workspace."

  • With all toggles activated, you're ready to begin using Bard!

Research-based prompt examples

"What are the latest research findings on [topic]?"

Utilize this prompt to direct Bard in locating and summarizing key findings from the most recent research papers on your specified topic. For instance, to explore the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, you might use the prompt: "What are the latest research findings on artificial intelligence?" In response, Bard will scour the most recent research papers concerning artificial intelligence, summarizing pivotal findings, such as the newest advancements in machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Refer below for a sample response from Bard.

"Identify the major trends in research on [topic] over the past 5 years."

This prompt is designed to pinpoint the predominant trends in research concerning a specific topic over the previous 5 years. Consider the following prompt: "Identify the major trends in research on executive coaching over the past 5 years." Utilizing this prompt, Bard is instructed to explore research papers on executive coaching published within this timeframe, subsequently identifying the principal trends within them. Bard would then encapsulate these major trends, furnishing examples of research papers that exemplify each trend.

"Identify the key gaps in the research on [topic]."

This prompt instructs Bard to sift through research papers focused on a specific topic and identify notable gaps in existing research. For example, consider the following example prompt that aims to identify key research gaps in leadership development: "Identify the key gaps in the research on leadership development for emerging leaders." Bard might pinpoint gaps such as a scarcity of research addressing the unique challenges and opportunities emerging leaders encounter, a deficiency in research exploring the efficacy of leadership development interventions for this demographic, and a lack of research investigating the impact of such interventions on the long-term success of emerging leaders. Bard would then encapsulate these key gaps, providing examples of research papers that illustrate each identified gap.

Workspace-based prompt examples

“In my '[Document Name]' on Google Drive, how can the content be improved?”

Upon asking, "How can the content be improved in my '[Document Name]' on Google Drive?", Bard provides tailored advice based on the document and query. Common feedback might include enhancing writing clarity and conciseness, reorganizing for logical flow, correcting grammatical errors, and boosting overall impact, such as supporting claims with additional evidence. Bard might also offer specific suggestions based on document type, like adding keywords for a blog post or more citations for a research paper, always aiming to provide useful and actionable writing improvement feedback.

I created a [Document Type], can you help me find it on Google Drive?”

Imagine posing the question, "I created a [Document Type], can you help me find it on Google Drive?" to Bard, and in return, receiving a tailored response to assist you in locating your document. In instances where multiple documents exist, providing further information, such as keywords or phrases used within the presentation, can refine the search. Additionally, utilizing filters on Google Drive’s interface allows you to narrow results by date, file type, and other criteria. Similar example queries might include: "I created a presentation on leadership development, can you help me find it on Google Drive?" or "I created a spreadsheet to track our sales data last week, can you help me find it on Google Drive?" Should difficulties persist in locating a document on Google Drive, reaching out to Google support is always an available option.

“How would you respond to the email I just received, ‘[Subject Line]’”

Navigating through email responses becomes a seamless task with Bard’s assistance. By posing a query like, "How would you respond to the email I just received, '[Subject Line]’?", Bard offers nuanced suggestions for crafting your reply, with the specificity of advice being influenced by the email’s subject line and the content of your query. Bard is equipped to help draft your entire email response: simply share your desired message, and Bard will create a draft for you to fine-tune and send, streamlining your communication process.

“How many unread emails are in my inbox? And which ones should I address first?”

Inquiring with Bard, "How many unread emails are in my inbox? And which ones should I address first?" provides you with a precise count of unread emails in your inbox and suggestions on prioritization, all by accessing your Gmail account. Bard not only counts your unopened or unmarked emails but also assists in determining which to address first by evaluating various factors: the sender’s importance (e.g., a customer or boss), the urgency indicated in the subject line, and a quick skim of the content for context. Should prioritization prove challenging, Bard can further assist by ranking your unread emails by importance or providing specific suggestions on which to address initially, ensuring your email management is both efficient and effective.

Search-based prompt examples

"Find me a round trip flight from [Origin] to [Destination] for [Timeframe]."

Embarking on a journey to find the perfect flight becomes a simplified experience with Bard. By querying, "Find me a round trip flight from [Origin] to [Destination] for [Timeframe]", you receive a meticulously compiled list of flights, complete with essential details such as airline, flight number, departure and arrival times, duration, and total price, all tailored to your specified origin, destination, and timeframe. Bard doesn’t stop at the basics; it also provides additional insights like baggage fees, cancellation policies, layover details, and customer reviews, aiding you in making an informed decision. Your queries might span from general, like "What are the cheapest flights from San Francisco to Paris in November?", to highly specific, such as "Find me a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo that is under 12 hours." The more detailed your prompts, the more adept Bard becomes at pinpointing results that align closely with your travel needs, ensuring your flight planning is as smooth as possible.

"What are the best hotels in [Destination] for [purpose]?"

Leveraging Bard to find specific hotels allows you to find top accommodations based on your chosen criteria. For example, a query like "What are the best hotels in London for business meetings?" to Bard yields a well-rounded response, offering a list of top hotels curated based on factors such as central location, meeting facilities, business services, and positive reviews from business travelers. Bard doesn’t merely provide a list; it also enriches your options with additional details like hotel amenities, rates, and availability, facilitating a comprehensive comparison to select the hotel that aligns best with your needs. Additionally, when choosing a hotel for business meetings, consider aspects like its proximity to business centers and airports, the adequacy of its meeting facilities, including conference rooms and AV equipment, the availability of business services like printing, and insights from reviews by fellow business travelers, ensuring your choice not only meets but enhances your business meeting experience.

“Show me videos of [topic] with links to watch”

Searching "Show me videos of [topic] with links to watch" prompts Bard to curate a list of related YouTube videos, providing key details for each, including title, channel, thumbnail, view count, and duration. Bard may also offer additional insights, such as a brief description, publish date, associated keywords, and a popularity metric derived from view count, likes, and comments. This information facilitates a thorough comparison, enabling you to select a video that best aligns with your interests. Your queries might range from general, like "Show me videos of how to bake a cake," to more specific, such as "Show me videos of the best places to visit in Paris with kids." The specificity of your prompts enhances Bard’s ability to comprehend your needs and provide the most pertinent results, ensuring a tailored video-searching experience on YouTube.

The main takeaway

Bard, in its envisioned capacity to simplify complex tasks—be it managing documents, facilitating travel, or curating content—offers more than just a tool; it presents a future where technology is an unintrusive partner in our digital endeavors. As we stand on the precipice of this future, the dialogue here underscores a pivotal reflection for technologists and business leaders alike: the real value of AI isn’t just in smarter technology, but in how it can smoothly become a part of our online world, turning ordinary interactions into something a bit more special and personalized.

Copyright © 2023 by Arete Coach LLC. All rights reserved.


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