Google Bard’s availability skips EU countries and Canada
Google’s Bard service is currently unavailable in Canada and the European Union.
Google announced several updates to its Bard AI service at its annual I/O developer conference. These upgrades are rolling out across a wide range of Google products and services, including Search, Workspace, Photos, and Android.
The company also announced that Bard will be available in 180 countries, giving users around the world access to Google’s generative AI.
However, European Union (EU) countries and Canada are conspicuously absent from the list of countries where Bard is available.
So what’s holding it back? Speculation suggests that it may be due to the EU’s strong privacy laws, as well as concerns about the potential for AI to be used for harmful purposes.
The EU has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives individuals extensive control over their personal data and requires companies to obtain explicit consent before collecting or using such data.
This could make it more difficult for Google to collect and use the data necessary to power Bard in the EU. In addition, the EU has expressed concerns about the potential for AI to be used for harmful purposes.
In 2021, the European Commission published a report on the risks and opportunities of AI, which warned that AI could be used to “manipulate people’s behavior, spread disinformation, or discriminate against certain groups of people.”
Google may eventually make Bard available in the EU
It is possible that Google is still working to address these concerns before making Bard available in the EU.
However, it is also possible that the company has decided not to offer Bard in the EU at all due to the challenges involved.
The company’s decision to leave the EU off the list of launch countries is a significant development, and privacy advocates and AI experts alike will closely watch it.
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