Teens weren’t allowed to use Google Bard — until now. What’s changed with the ChatGPT alternative?

Did you know that Bard, Google’s answer to ChatGPT, was not open to teens? If a young whippersnapper owned a Google account, and they didn’t meet the age requirement, Bard was inaccessible.

However, in a Wednesday blog, Google announced that it’s changing that. Appropriately aged teens now have access to Google Bard.

Why is Google opening access to teens now?

Before giving teens access to Bard, Google wanted to make sure that all safety measures were meticulously implemented before allowing the youngsters to hop aboard.

Google Bard
Credit: Google

“We consulted with child safety and development experts to help shape our content policies and an experience that prioritizes safety,” Google’s Head of Product and Responsible AI Tulsee Doshi said in the blog post.

The search engine giant reached out to organizations such as Family Online Safety Institute to advise it on how to best erect safeguards for teens so that they can explore the ChatGPT alternative boldly and brazenly.

Google also shared that it received direct feedback from teens about Bard — and they had questions about how to make the most out of their experiences with the AI chatbot. Consequently, Google launched resources such as their AI Literacy Guide to help teens navigate the generative AI space with knowledge under their belts.

“The onboarding will also share an overview of how Bard Activity is used, and give teens the option to turn it on or off,” Doshi added.

What changes did Google make to Bard?

In preparation for the onslaught of teens that will use the platform, Google also trained Bard to detect topics and content that are not appropriate for young users. For example, Google rolled out guardrails for questions regarding illegal substances.

Google Bard in action

Google Bard in action.
Credit: Google

On top of that, Google will auto-run its “double-check response” feature for teens. So when a teen as a fact-based question for the first time, the AI will “double check” its answer with content across the web to corroborate its response before sharing it.

This feature will auto-run for everyone (not just teens) soon, particularly when a new Bard user requests answers to a factual question for the first time.

Google Bard’s expanded access to teens will roll out starting tomorrow in most countries around the world.

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