ChatGPT wrote a movie and yes, it freaked people out and forced a big change to its launch plans

The Prince Charles Cinema in London canceled the world premiere of “The Last Screenwriter” after receiving complaints over the use of ChatGPT to write the film’s script.

Swiss director Peter Luisi employed the generative artificial intelligence chatbot to write the film and gave the AI the screenwriting credit. Aptly enough for a script composed by an AI, “The Last Screenwriter” is about a famous screenwriter dealing with an AI scriptwriter named “ChatGPT 4.0,” outperforming him and somehow understanding humanity better than the actual human.

Luisi produced the screenplay through a series of prompts to ChatGPT, starting by asking it to “write a plot to a feature-length film where a screenwriter realizes he is less good than artificial intelligence in writing.” He followed up with the AI by asking it to compose outlines and scenes, as well as name the movie’s characters. With some editing, the script was complete. 

The movie’s press kit even includes a statement from ‘the screenwriter,’ who comes off as very proud of the screenplay.

“As the screenwriter of 'The Last Screenwriter,' I am excited to bring this thought-provoking story to life on the page,” ChatGPT is quoted as stating. “At its core, the film explores the intersection between technology and human creativity, and asks the question: can machines truly replace the human experience when it comes to art and storytelling?”

That almost sounds too human.

Fade to black

However, just before the premiere, the cinema canceled the event, citing a deluge of audience complaints. While trying to avoid this specific controversy, the theater did make a point about the question of AI in entertainment being a larger issue than just this one film and one theater’s policy. 

“The feedback we received over the last 24hrs once we advertised the film has highlighted the strong concern held by many of our audience on the use of AI in place of a writer which speaks to a wider issue within the industry,” the Prince Charles wrote in its statement. 

Proponents of AI in entertainment say it can offer innovative solutions and new perspectives. However, many worry about what it might mean for creative employment and even the future of storytelling.

Generative AI and its uses were at the core of the recent writer and screen actor union strikes, and both settlements addressed how companies should approach the technology. Even so, it’s not likely to be a settled issue when the technology itself is evolving so rapidly.

Don't cry for ChatGPT. Director Luisi still held a family and friends screens. Plus, there are plans to release the movie for free online on June 27 and post the screenplay and how it was created by ChatGPT.

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Windows 11 gets a useful addition to the Start menu for a change –and some other nifty tweaks

Windows 11 just got some useful new tweaks for the Start menu, albeit they are still in testing for the moment.

These came as part of the preview build (version 22635) that was released in the Beta channel late last week, which Microsoft added to over the weekend.

There are two main tweaks here for the Windows 11 interface, both of which apply to the Start menu and bolster it with useful functionality.

First off, Microsoft has added jump lists for apps which support them, meaning that when you right click on such an app in the Start menu, you’ll see a list of context-sensitive actions that you might want to take.

Think of these as handy shortcuts, so as in Microsoft’s example in its blog post for the preview, when you right click on the PowerPoint app, you’ll see options to immediately open files that you recently worked with in the program. Or for the Snipping Tool, you’ll be presented with options to immediately take a screenshot (or a delayed grab).

The second tweak Microsoft has made for Windows 11 testers, the one more recently added to this preview build, is the ability to drag and drop apps in the Start menu directly to the taskbar, or the desktop, in order to pin them.

Away from the Start menu, as regular leaker Albacore shared on X (hat tip to Windows Latest), there’s also been a change for the taskbar, although this isn’t in the Beta channel, but the Canary channel, an earlier testing avenue.

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As noted, there’s a setting that turns off the notifications bell on the taskbar, giving you a bit more space, and a lack of nagging, if you’re not a fan of that feature. Right now, it doesn’t work though – and as ever with anything in this earliest testing channel, it might not make the cut for inclusion in Windows 11.

Analysis: Better late than never

There are some small but useful changes here, and hopefully with the Start menu tweaks, we should see these coming through soon enough (possibly in the Windows 11 24H2 update, which is rumored to be set for launch in September 2024).

Mind you, the change for dragging and dropping an app from the Start menu to the desktop (or taskbar) should really have been in Windows 11 in the first place. This is another example of a seemingly basic piece of interface functionality that was left out of Microsoft’s newest OS for no apparent reason – drag and drop in the File Explorer address bar is another example of this.

These represent odd decisions by Microsoft which are constraining in terms of the interface and your workflow when you come over from Windows 10 (where these abilities are available). At any rate, at least these pieces of the interface puzzle are now in place, if only in testing right now.

Via Windows Latest [1, 2]

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Windows 11’s Recall feature could pack a handy time-saving web search ability that might be less controversial (for a change)

Windows 11’s Recall feature has been causing controversy recently, so much so that Microsoft has actually halted the feature in its tracks (for now) – but a new discovery won’t fan any of those particular flames. In fact, it could well prove useful for those who eventually take the plunge with the now-delayed AI-powered functionality.

As discovered in the new preview build 26236 for Windows 11 (in the Canary channel) by regular leaker @PhantomofEarth on X, the new addition to Recall – which is still hidden in testing – is a ‘Search the web’ option.

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To recap, Recall is an AI feature specifically designed for Copilot+ PCs which regularly takes screenshots of the activity on your PC, files them in a library, and makes this searchable via Microsoft’s Copilot AI in Windows.

The new ‘Search the web’ facility allows the user to right-click on any text detected in a screenshot taken by Recall, and it’ll fire up a search on that selected text (in the user’s default search engine, presumably – though we don’t get to see the feature in action).

The ‘Search the web’ option is present in Recall’s right-click menu (in a snapshot) alongside the ‘Copy’ and ‘Open with’ options.

New AI settings in Windows 11

X user @alex290292 commented on @PhantomofEarth’s post with another interesting observation that there are also new AI-related settings in this Windows 11 preview build.

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These are in the Settings app, under ‘Privacy & Security’ where there’s a ‘Generative AI’ panel that allows for the fine-tuning of which apps are allowed to use generative AI capabilities. Apparently, you’ll also be able to review the last seven days of activity to see which apps requested to use generative AI.

To be able to see all of this for yourself, you’ll have to install the preview build and use a Windows configuration tool (ViVeTool) to enable ‘hidden’ Windows 11 features – not something we’d recommend for anyone but a keen enthusiast who’s comfortable with tinkering around in test builds.


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Android’s Find My Device trackers are missing one big AirTags feature, but that could soon change

Google's upgraded Find My Device network is slowly rolling out globally to help Android fans find their lost belongings. And it seems that Google is already planning to add a key feature that the network lacks compared to Apple's AirTags – support for UWB (ultra-wideband) tech.

UWB is one of the main technologies that powers Apple AirTags' Precision Finding feature (below). That feature gives you directions, down to a few feet, to where your lost keys are. But Google's Find My Device network doesn't currently support the tech – even though many of the best Android phones now support ultra-wideband. 

While that oversight means that the first wave of Find My Device trackers lacks the feature, Google appears to have plans to fill the gap. As spotted by Android Authority, some code references in the latest version of the Find My Device app suggest that Google is working on adding UWB to its new network.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Google is planning to bring the feature to Find My Device soon, but it is a promising sign. And it might not be the only new feature in the pipeline for the network – another code reference points to AR (augmented reality) features via the ARCore software development kit (SDK).

In theory, that could tie in nicely with the UWB support, with a camera UI visually showing you how to track down your lost valuables. That would be a very Google integration with echoes of Google Lens, but for now, its Find My Device network lags behind its Apple rival in one small but useful area.

A nudge in the right direction

An iPhone showing the Precision Finding feature of Apple AirTags

(Image credit: Apple)

The lack of UWB support on Google's Find My Device network certainly isn't a deal-breaker for the early trackers that are available now from the likes of Chipolo and Pebblebee.

Like Apple's Find My network, Google's new network anonymously leverages millions of phones worldwide to help you locate lost items. You can attach the trackers, which come in tag and card form, to valuables and tap to 'play sounds' in the app to trigger a sound or get the tracker to emit an LED flash.

Both things help compensate for the lack of a visual Precision Finding feature like the one you get with AirTags. But those visual cues can still be very handy if you can't quite tell where the sound is coming from, and Apple's integration also gives you increasingly powerful vibrations alongside the UWB-powered directions.

Then again, UWB is only really helpful at very short range, so it only really becomes a benefit when you're in the same room as your lost item. So while it's certainly a nice-to-have that will hopefully come to the Find My Device, Google's rebooted network and the new trackers that support it are still a big upgrade from what was available before on Android.

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AI cursors and an intelligent AI Explorer – Microsoft may be looking to change how we use Windows devices

There are reports of Microsoft working on an AI-enhanced mouse cursor in Windows 11, and it could launch alongside the long-rumored AI Explorer tool. AI Explorer will be a brand-new feature that will leverage new powerful NPU (Neural Processing Unit) technology in the next generation of Windows devices.

AI Explorer is expected to integrate into Windows 11 and be able to log all of your PC activity, including what websites you visit, which apps you open, and what documents you edit, in order to make your activity searchable. This hefty amount of data to be captured by AI Explorer is why rumors suggest that the feature will only be available on PCs with powerful components that feature NPCUs dedicated to AI tasks.

Woman sitting at a table, and working on a laptop and writing in a notebook

(Image credit: Shutterstock/ARMMY PICCA)

AI Explorer's screen comprehension and cursor transformation

Insights gleaned from combing over preview builds suggest that AI Explorer is being built to be able to comprehend what’s happening on your screen, make suggestions based on that information, and make all of your previous activity searchable. According to Windows Latest, AI Explorer will be context-friendly and appear at the top of your screen when prompted.

The references to cursors designed for AI Explorer were found in a new Windows file and shared by Microsoft watcher Albacore (@thebookisclosed) on X, who applied these files to see how the cursor transforms for demo purposes. So far, it’s predicted that the new-look mouse cursors will only be for AI Explorer, but how these will be implemented in Windows 11 is for Microsoft to reveal. 

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Insights from Microsoft's 'Sophia' AI cursor for Office

The new AI Explorer cursors might follow the path of an AI cursor that Microsoft has already introduced – a Microsoft Office AI cursor codenamed “Sophia.” In November 2023, Microsoft wrote about Project “Sophia” on its official Learn blog, where it explained that the endeavor is still a preview feature, how the AI cursor would work, and provided instructions on how to use it, accompanied with explanatory screenshots.  

Using the keyboard screenshot Alt + C, you’re able to interact with a chosen part of what you’re seeing on screen, as well as the text that’s generated by a large language model (LLM) in response to your query. When talking about how Microsoft Office’s AI cursor functions, Microsoft explains that it can respond to natural language commands and is able to provide recommendations based on the provided context as you navigate the contents of your screen. 

This could give us some idea of what Microsoft is exploring when it comes to developing AI cursors and how they’ll be adopted into familiar parts of Windows

woman using microsoft office on PC

(Image credit: Microsoft)

When we expect to see AI Explorer in play

We don’t know exactly when Microsoft will debut AI Explorer and its new cursor, but Windows Latest suggests that AI Explorer will be announced along with a new line-up of Snapdragon X Elite-powered Windows 11 AI PCs at  Microsoft’s annual developer-focused conference, Microsoft Build 2024 later this month May. AI Explorer is apparently going to be exclusively available to those who purchase one of these new Snapdragon X Elite PCs equipped with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and a 45 TOPs NPU chip.

Microsoft’s push to convince Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11 has been rubbing people up the wrong way for a while, and the concept of AI cursors is intriguing, but it could also prove divisive. Lots of people just don’t want AI in their devices yet. Also, I could see a lot of users being wary of having an even greater amount of data collected and stored (although it sounds like it’ll live locally on your device, for now). Those users might feel compelled to stick to older devices that aren’t compatible with features like AI Explorer, but that fact won’t stop Microsoft from trying. 


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Microsoft is mulling a change for widgets in Windows 11 that could prove controversial

Microsoft has deployed a new preview build of Windows 11 to the Canary channel (which is the earliest testing outlet) and it does some work on the widgets panel that could be divisive.

This is build 26200 and there’s only a handful of changes applied here, two of which pertain to widgets.

The main thrust of innovation here is Microsoft’s new idea to allow developers to send notifications from their widgets to the taskbar button. In other words, when something happens with a widget that you might want to see, it’ll be waving at you from the taskbar to let you know.

Of course, not everyone will want their widget button in the taskbar to act in this way, and fortunately, Microsoft has included an option to turn off this behavior.

It’s also worth noting that this is a limited rollout to begin with, and indeed, most people won’t see these widget notifications yet – only those in the European Economic Area (EEA) are getting this feature in testing. Of course, that rollout could be made broader down the line, depending on feedback.

Another tweak related to this in build 26200 is that Microsoft is changing said widgets button to make the icons on the taskbar clearer.

Elsewhere on the taskbar, another icon is changing, this time the energy saver icon which resides in the system tray (on the far right). A few months back this was changed in testing to look different for desktop PCs plugged into a power socket, but now Microsoft has decided to revert it to the old look (a leaf icon).

Finally, Microsoft notes that there is an odd known issue with this preview build – and others, in the Dev and Beta channels, too – whereby Copilot is auto-launching itself after the PC is rebooted.

The software giant explains this is not related to the automatic launch on boot behavior that has been tested in preview builds before, the rollout of which has now stopped, apparently, since March (though we heard it has been restarted elsewhere).

This is a separate glitch, then, and Microsoft says it hopes to have a fix implemented soon. Meanwhile, greater visibility for Copilot is something the company is certainly driving forward with, to no one’s surprise.

Analysis: A livelier taskbar won’t be everyone’s preferred beverage

Are notifications for widgets intrusive? Well, yes they could certainly be regarded in that way, but as noted, as long as the option is provided to turn them off, it’s not too big a deal. If you want them, you can have them – if not, hit that off switch. Fair enough.

Many people likely won’t want their widgets effectively waving their hands at them from the taskbar, whenever something new pops up with a widget in the panel. This taskbar-based hand-waving appears to be a direction Microsoft is exploring in more depth, though. We’ve also recently seen an idea where the Copilot button runs an animation with its icon to draw your attention to the fact that the AI can help with something you’re doing on the desktop.

This only relates to copying text or image files currently – again, in testing – but in this case, there’s no way to turn it off.

All this could possibly point to a taskbar which is considerably livelier and more animated in the future, perhaps – and again, that’s not something everyone will appreciate.

If this is the path we’re going down for the taskbar as we head towards next-gen Windows (which might be Windows 12), hopefully Microsoft will also give Windows users enough granular control over the bar’s highlighting features and animations so they can be dialed back suitably.

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Watch this: Adobe shows how AI and OpenAI’s Sora will change Premiere Pro and video editing forever

OpenAI's Sora gave us a glimpse earlier this year of how generative AI is going to change video editing – and now Adobe has shown off how that's going to play out by previewing of some fascinating new Premiere Pro tools.

The new AI-powered features, powered by Adobe Firefly, effectively bring the kinds of tricks we've seen from Google's photo-focused Magic Editor – erasing unwanted objects, adding objects and extending scenes – to video. And while it isn't the first piece of software to do that, seeing these tools in an industry standard app that's used by professionals is significant.

For a glimpse of what's coming “this year” to Premiere Pro and other video editing apps, check out the video below. In a new Generative panel, there's a new 'add object' option that lets you type in an object you want to add to the scene. This appears to be for static objects, rather than things like a galloping horse, but it looks handy for b-roll and backgrounds.

Arguably even more helpful is 'object removal', which uses Firefly's AI-based smart masking to help you quickly select an object to remove then make it vanish with a click. Alternatively, you can just combine the two tools to, for example, swap the watch that someone's wearing for a non-branded alternative.

One of the most powerful new AI-powered features in photo editing is extending backgrounds – called Generative Fill in Photoshop – and Premiere Pro will soon have a similar feature for video. Rather than extending the frame's size, Generative Extend will let you add frames to a video to help you, for example, pause on your character's face for a little longer. 

While Adobe hasn't given these tools a firm release date, only revealing that they're coming “later this year”, it certainly looks like they'll change Premiere Pro workflows in a several major ways. But the bigger AI video change could be yet to come… 

Will Adobe really plug into OpenAI's Sora?

A laptop screen showing AI video editing tools in Adobe Premiere Pro

(Image credit: Adobe)

The biggest Premiere Pro announcement, and also the most nebulous one, was Adobe's preview of third-party models for the editing app. In short, Adobe is planning to let you plug generative AI video tools including OpenAI's Sora, Runway and Pika Labs into Premiere Pro to sprinkle your videos with their effects.

In theory, that sounds great. Adobe showed an example of OpenAI's Sora generating b-roll with a text-to-video prompt, and Pika powering Generative Extend. But these “early examples” of Adobe's “research exploration” with its “friends” from the likes of OpenAI are still clouded in uncertainty.

Firstly, Adobe hasn't committed to launching the third-party plug-ins in the same way as its own Firefly-powered tools. That shows it's really only testing the waters with this part of the Premiere Pro preview. Also, the integration sits a little uneasily with Adobe's current stance on generative AI tools.

A laptop screen showing AI video editing tools in Adobe Premiere Pro

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe has sought to set itself apart from the likes of Midjourney and Stable Diffusion by highlighting that Adobe Firefly is only trained on Adobe Stock image library, which is apparently free of commercial, branded and trademark imagery. “We’re using hundreds of millions of assets, all trained and moderated to have no IP,” Adobe's VP of Generative AI, Alexandru Costin, told us earlier this year.

Yet a new report from Bloomberg claims that Firefly was partially trained on images generated by Midjourney (with Adobe suggesting that could account for 5% of Firefly's training data). And these previews of new alliances with generative video AI models, which are similarly opaque when it comes to their training data, again sits uneasily with Adobe's stance.

Adobe's potential get-out here is Content Credentials, a kind of nutrition label that's also coming to Premiere Pro and will add watermarks to clarify when AI was used in a video and with which model. Whether or not this is enough for Adobe to balance making a commercially-friendly pro video editor with keeping up in the AI race remains to be seen.

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Spotify’s rumored remix feature could completely change how we listen to music

Spotify is reportedly working on adding remixing tools to its streaming service, giving users a way to reimagine their favorite tracks. 

The news comes from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) whose sources state people will be able to “speed up, mash-up, and otherwise edit songs” however they want. The article explains that one of the purported additions is a playback feature for controlling how fast or how slow a track plays. When you’re finished with a remix, you can then share it with other Spotify users, but not to third-party platforms or social media. There are licensing agreements in place that will prevent people from sharing their creations.

The availability of these tools will differ depending on the type of Spotify subscription you have. The “more basic features” such as the speed control will be on the basic plan; however, the “advanced song modification features” will be on the company’s long-rumored Supremium tier

Imminent launch

Several lines of code were discovered by Reddit user Hypixely on the Spotify subreddit revealing the company plans on introducing the remix patch as the “Music Pro” add-on. Accompanying text also talks about lossless audio arriving on the platform which could be referring to Supremium. The name of the plan isn't explicitly stated, but the clues are there. The fact that lossless was mentioned alongside the remix update could hint at an imminent release for both, although it may still be a while before we see either one.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the platform is currently hashing out the details with music rights holders. Development is still in the early stages, but once everything comes out, it could upend the way we enjoy music.

Analysis: if you can't beat them…

Arguably, some of the more popular versions of songs are remixes. Fan reinterpretations can alter the meaning of the original and even serve as an introduction to a new generation. As the WSJ points out, people like to add their own unique twists on a classic or edit them for dance challenges or memes. That type of content can be a very effective way of discovering new music. How many times have you seen people in the comments section asking for the source of a song or movie or whatever? It’s quite common.

As great as fan remixes may be, they’ve apparently become a bit of a problem. Musicians and labels don’t get paid for the content utilizing their work. The WSJ mentions how a “sped-up cover version” of the song “Somewhere Only We Know” by the rock band Keane has over 33 million tracks on Spotify. Record executives see this and force these platforms to do something.

There are different solutions to this problem. Spotify chose the path of “if you can’t beat them, join ‘em.” It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Rather than ban the content, the company is choosing to embrace the remixes. People can be creative and artists can get paid.

If you want to flex that creative muscle, check out TechRadar's list of the best free music-making software for 2024.

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Microsoft could make a big change to part of the Windows 11 Start menu – one you might love or hate

Microsoft could be reworking a major part of the Start menu in Windows 11, or at least there are changes hidden in testing right now which suggest this.

As flagged up by a regular contributor of Windows leaks, PhantomOfEarth on X (formerly Twitter), the Start menu could end up with a very different layout for the ‘All apps’ panel.

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Currently, this presents a list of all the applications installed on your system in alphabetical order, but if this change comes to fruition, the panel will be switched to a grid-style layout (as shown in the above tweet) rather than a long list.

Note that this move is not visible in preview testing yet, and the leaker had to dig around in Windows 11 – a preview build in the Beta channel specifically – to find it (using ViVeTool, a configuration utility).

Analysis: 10X better?

What this means is that you’ll be able to see a lot more of the installed software in the ‘All apps’ panel at one time, with a whole host of icons laid out in front of you in said grid, rather than having a list with a very limited number of icons in comparison.

On the flipside, this looks a bit busier and less streamlined, with the alphabetical list being neater. Also, some have noted the resemblance to Windows 10X with this hidden change (which might provoke unwelcome OS flashbacks for some).

As ever, some might lean towards the list of installed apps, or some may not, and prefer the new grid-based view instead – which leads us to our next point: why not offer a choice of either layout, based on the user’s preference? A simple toggle somewhere could do that trick.

We shall see what happens, but bear in mind that this grid layout concept might go precisely nowhere in the end. Microsoft could just be toying with the idea, and then abandon it down the line, before even taking it live in testing.

If we do see it go live in Windows 11 preview builds, odds are it’ll be incoming maybe with Windows 11 24H2 later this year – fingers crossed with that mentioned toggle.

Via Windows Latest

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Google Bard AI’s addition to Messages could change the way we text forever

Google’s experimental AI chatbot Bard may be coming to the Google Messages app in the near future – and it promises to bring some major upgrades to your phone-based chats. 

Tipster Assembler Debug uncovered the feature in the beta code of the Google Messages app. The AI-enhanced features are not yet available, and Assembler Debug states that it doesn’t seem to work. However, according to leaked images, you can use Bard to help you write text messages, as well as arrange a date and craft a message calling in sick to your boss, alongside other difficult conversations. 

Bard in Google Messages could also help to translate conversations and identify images, as well as explore interests. The code suggests it could provide book recommendations and recipe ideas, too.

According to the examination of its code, the app is believed to use your location data and past chat information to help generate accurate replies. However, you can provide feedback to Bard's response with a thumbs up or down by long pressing, as well as copy, forward, and favorite its answers, thus helping the AI learn if its reply was appropriate. 

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The project codename “Penpal” was noted in a beta version (20240111_04_RC00) of the Google Messages app. According to 9to5Google’s insights of the beta code, Bard can be accessed by selecting the “New conversation” option, allowing you to select Bard as a stand-alone chat option.

You must be eighteen-years-old to use it and conversations with Bard in the Messages app are not end-to-end encrypted or treated as private, unlike messages exchanged with your contacts. So you might want to avoid sending personal or sensitive messages through the app when Bard is enabled. 

Google states that chat histories are kept for eighteen months to help enhance Bard and could be reviewed by a human, but no information is associated with your account beyond three years. Google recommends not to say anything to Bard you wouldn't want others to see. Conversations with Bard could be reviewed by Google but are not accessible to other users. However, you can delete your chat history with Bard anytime, which will take 72 hours to remove the data.

Echoes of Allo

Bard AI's inclusion into the Messages app seems slightly reminiscent of the past project Google Allo, which incorporated the Google Assistant in both stand-alone requests and chats. This service was shut down in 2019 but it could live on in some way through this Bard integration.

When asked directly Bard said: “While I can't say for certain right now, there are strong indications that I might become available with Google RCS messages in the future.” 

Bard then went on to say that integration with Google Messages was being tested in March 2023 and the functionality aligns with Bard's capabilities to process language, generate text, and answer questions, as well as summarize information making it a natural fit for enhancing messages. 

The integration of AI into messaging apps reflects many companies' eagerness to infuse AI technologies into their upcoming smartphones, with Samsung’s Galaxy AI features being a recent example. Google, however, is no stranger to AI tools in its phones with features like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, or Live Translate all being staples of Pixel devices.

The implications of AI being added to messages are also intriguing, meaning you may never know if that thoughtful reply or fantastic date idea was thought up by a human or their AI assistant.

Although Bard’s inclusion in Google's messaging app isn’t yet available and no release date has been announced, Google could decide to not continue with the project. Google could go the Samsung route and make its functionality a subscription-based feature. However, all of this is speculation right now and we’ll have to wait to see exactly how much Bard will change the Messages app in the future.  

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