Updated NotebookLM Powered by Google AI Expands to India, UK, and More Than 200 Countries

Google said Thursday that it is rolling out NotebookLM, its AI-powered note-taking assistant, in more than 200 new countries, nearly six months after opening access in the U.S. The platform, powered by the multi-modal LLM Gemini 1.5 Google Pro has also been updated with new features and languages ​​to help more people use AI to generate summaries and ask questions based on their documents.

The list of countries now supported by NotebookLM includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom, as well as 208 other countries and territories. Google has also expanded the interface language support for the AI-assisted app to 108 languages, including Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Cantonese, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi and Hinglish. It also supports fonts and chat in 38 languages ​​such as Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish.

NotebookLM, which was first demonstrated as Project Tailwind at Google I/O in 2023, was initially available to a select few users in June last year. It uses AI to help generate summaries and answer questions from documents, transcripts, notes and other sources that users can upload. This is different from a traditional AI chatbot, such as ChatGPT, which often does not adhere to the source provided by users and generates information based on the data used for its training that may sometimes be unrelated or incorrect.

Google also gives NotebookLM the ability to pull content from Google Slides and web URLs, in addition to existing support for Google Docs, PDFs, and text files. This allows users to create notes or ask questions about content (be it an image or text) in their documents or explore online material.

Some early users of NotebookLM in the US anticipated that it would support traditional note-taking apps, including Evernote and Google Keep. However, Raiza Martin, senior product manager for AI at Google Labs, told TechCrunch in a virtual roundtable earlier this week that Google wanted to focus on the core value of the product before expanding integrations.

“It is to be hoped that in the future we will see these types of integrations,” he said.

Google has also added online citations to help you find supporting passages in your sources, check AI-generated answers, and read the original text for more context. Previously, quotes were placed below the answers generated by the wizard.

It also comes with Notebook Guide, which helps convert your content into various formats such as FAQs, whitepapers, or study guides.

NotebookLM with laptop guide Image credits: Google

Google Labs editorial director Steven Johnson said NotebookLM was developed with authors, students and educators, and the company saw early users integrate its source-based architecture into their research and writing workflows.

The company said NotebookLM has also been used to create hyperlocal newsletters, summarize interview transcripts, develop grant proposals, or even manage descriptions of fantasy worlds.

Martin noted that Google does not use any of the data that users upload to NotebookLM to train its algorithms.

“In particular, we get this question a lot because users want to be able to use it with work or school documents,” he said. “Your data remains private to you.”

At its Google I/O 2024 keynote in May, Google showed off an early prototype of Audio Overviews for NotebookLM that uses the company’s Gemini model to scan uploaded materials and generate a podcast-style discussion. Gemini 1.5 Pro also allows NotebookLM to have up to 50 fonts in each notebook, with 500,000 words per font.

The global launch of NotebookLM will likely pit it directly against the dozens of platforms (read: startups) that currently allow users to use GenAI tools to do things like answer your questions and summarize PDF tools. Most of these platforms charge for their services, but Google’s weight allows it to offer this service for free.

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