Google Opens Up Access to Bard with Safety Guardrails for Teens
Google has made a big announcement this week – teenagers can now access Google Bard with safety guardrails in place. This feature is available in most countries around the world, but there are some conditions. Teenagers must meet the minimum age requirement to manage their own Google Account and have set English as their primary language.
Bard has been specially trained to recognize areas that are inappropriate for younger users. It has also implemented safety features and guardrails to help prevent unsafe content, such as illegal or age-gated substances, from appearing in its responses to teens.
Google is also taking extra steps to ensure the safety of teens using Bard. The company has introduced a double-check response feature, which runs automatically the first time a teen asks a fact-based question. This feature helps evaluate whether there’s content across the web to substantiate Bard’s response. Google will also actively recommend using double-check to help teens develop information literacy and critical thinking skills.
Before launching Bard to younger people, Google sought advice from child safety and development experts to shape the content policies and prioritize safety. The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) advised Google on how to keep the needs of teens and families in mind.
According to Stephen Balkam, Founder & CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, “FOSI’s research found that most teens and parents expect that GenAI skills will be an important part of their future. Google’s thoughtful approach to expanding Bard access to teens represents an important step in offering teens the opportunity to explore this technology with the appropriate safeguards in place.”
This move by Google aims to provide teenagers with a safer and more secure online experience while using Bard. It reflects the company’s commitment to the well-being of young users and their families.