News: AI app NotebookLM presented by Google

Tim Filzinger

For two months, AI enthusiasts have been waiting for the test phase of Google's "Project Tailwind" - an app for AI-supported organization of notes. Now the time has come, but the model is now called "NotebookLM". In the US, you can already get on the waiting list to try it out. A first look at the announced features promises a lot - but also leaves questions unanswered.

This article was written in German, automatically translated into other languages and editorially reviewed. We welcome feedback at the end of the article.

NotebookLM "grounds" notes

The Google Lab has long been notorious for its experiments. Especially when it comes once again to a ChatGPT-like language model, things are likely to get exciting. This is now the case with NotebookLM, Google's third notebook app. Language Models (LM) currently represent the state of the art in automated language processing. Through extensive pre-training with large amounts of text and subsequent fine-tuning, these models can perform versatile tasks such as analyzing, summarizing, structuring, and creating text. Google wants to bring this potential to new heights in conjunction with users' personal documents.

The big difference to typical models is that NotebookLM prioritizes the content of uploaded content higher than the training data. In AI jargon, this is referred to as "grounding". Google insists on the importance of the most recently analyzed source, which ultimately originated from the user's pen. This is to reduce the risk of so-called hallucinations of the AI. On request, broader knowledge can also be accessed, whereby NotebookLM labels the corresponding sources and provides answers with citations. This should provide food for thought in the discussion about the reliability of AI-generated content.

Artificial intelligence in personalized

Through the Grounding is intended to achieve more individual use with the help of personalized AI. The Google Docs accounts of the users are used as input, other formats are to follow. The following tasks in particular can be mapped from the interaction of the documents with AI:

  • Answer questions: Actually, any conventional text bot is also capable of this. The special feature here - as always particularly important for Google - would be personalization. For example, a student could ask questions about an uploaded paper and receive support in understanding it.
  • Create summaries: This will probably just happen unprompted when a Google Doc enters the AI app. In addition, key questions and various labels for structuring documents and the information they contain can be added.
  • Generate new ideas: The better a personalized AI knows its user, the sooner it should learn to think like him - at least according to Google's logic. Personalized scripts and new content could be created from uploaded information.

AI notebook remains experiment for now

Overall, Google's announcement is relatively vague at first. However, the news still attracts a lot of attention. The responsible parties should be well aware of that. They also constantly emphasize the experimental status of NotebookLM, which will initially only be made available to a "small group of US users". Google wants to keep in regular contact with this group in order to explore weaknesses and development possibilities of the tool. The tech giant still has to find out for itself what it will really do with NotebookLM in the end.

"We'll be talking to people and communities often to learn about what's working well and where the gaps are, with the intent of making NotebookLM a truly useful product."

Google Labs

B2B alternative for automated document management

Gaining knowledge from individual Documents may be news for personal use, but it has long been common practice in business. For example, the Document AI of Konfuzio to automatically read heterogeneous and unstructured files in order to extracted to use information systematically. The input is not just limited to Google Docs, but can be available in countless formats and even in optical handwriting. So, instead of getting bogged down in sprawling paperwork, companies are already reducing their administrative overhead and leveraging capacity and insight for sustainable business success.

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