Google is renaming Project Tailwind to NotebookLM and making its “AI notebook for everyone” available to a small group of people. A thin layer of AI might be the answer if you struggle to make sense of the mass of data in your Google Drive.
As a tool for students to manage the many lecture notes and other paperwork they gather during study, the idea was introduced at I/O in May.
Instead of using a wide corpus of completely unrelated information, as a general chatbot would, NotebookLM limits (or tries to limit) itself to evaluating and responding to queries regarding the documents it is fed.
The main concept is that it will turn to the knowledge it has recently been exposed to before drawing on its more extensive knowledge if necessary.
When you inquire about the relevance of Lord Byron’s death in Greece as opposed to England in a class on the author, the instructor will first review your notes and any relevant materials before responding.
But even if you forgot to record the time and place of his passing (April 19, 1824, in Missolonghi, Greece), it can still get that information from another source. (At least, this is my overall understanding of how the system operates.)
Google claims that this “source-grounding” “seems” to limit the degree of outright manufacture of false information, but it advises users to double-check the accuracy of anything the AI says using their own notes.
One does wonder if any time has been saved at this point, but if you are (like me) the type of person who is knowledgeable about a subject but sometimes finds it difficult to bring it up in a certain situation, it may end up being a net gain.
As we noted during its announcement, Google reiterates that this is “an experimental product,” and the corporation exhibits no assurance that it understands what or who NotebookLM is genuinely for.
College students, perhaps, but if I were a student now, after Bard fell on its face while taking its first steps, I’d be wary of utilizing it.
There are further alternatives like this available as other businesses, like Notion, look for a method to incorporate AI into their current offerings.
In order to make NotebookLM a genuinely helpful product, “we’ll be talking to people and communities frequently to learn about what’s working well and where the gaps are.”
In other words, we find something to be cool but are unsure of how to use it. However, there is potential here, so let’s hope this doesn’t join the long list of Google’s other “experiments” there. Stay detached.