Google’s parent company Alphabet has expanded its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Bard to Europe and Brazil, prompting shares in the tech giant to soar on Thursday. 

The expansion, which is the biggest since its launch in March, had previously been held up in Europe after regulators raised security concerns.

Alphabet had previously been accused by the Irish Data Protection Commission of not providing sufficient information on how Bard will protect users’ privacy.

Amar Subramanya, engineering vice president of Bard, told reporters that the tech giant had met with regulators to quell their issues surrounding privacy and security.

All users will now be able to opt out of their data being collected, according to Subramanya.

Google also announced new features for its internationally released AI chatbot, including image and spoken word responses.

Subramanya said: “Bard is an experiment. We want to be bold and responsible.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

The expansion of Bard adds fuel to the fire of the generative AI race, as companies compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT for dominance in the sector.

Shares in Alphabet were up to 4.9% on Thursday (July 13) following its expansion announcement. According to Reuters, shares hit their highest point since mid-June.

The news follows a report by CNBC claiming  Google was due to release an AI app for Gen Z users which featured digital characters and could give relationship advice.

The app, which was being worked on for mobile, was reportedly going to feature “bubble characters” holding realistic human conversations with users. 

Subramanya reportedly declined to comment on whether there were plans to develop a Bard app in the works.

The news follows a dramatic fall in the value of AI deals in 2022, according to research firm GlobalData.

The total value of deals made in the AI market totalled $72.9bn in 2022, falling from a $127.2bn peak in 2021. AI deals have been growing steadily over the decade, growing from a total of just $1.6bn in 2013.