NotebookLM, Google's AI note-taking app, gets a limited launch

Asking Google Bard a question on a Google Pixel 7 Pro phone
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google announces NotebookLM, a tailor-made AI helper for a given topic users may be interested in.
  • Users (for now) can upload Google Docs to NotebookLM and ask it to summarize the document, ask questions about it, and generate ideas.
  • Google makes fact-checking easy by offering citations as the AI is still prone to "hallucinations."
  • The AI helper will be made available to a small group of testers today.

Google is providing some useful insight into Project Tailwind, which is launching under a new name.

In Google's Keyword blog post, the company has unveiled NotebookLM, a "reimagined" piece of notetaking software powered by AI technology. With Google's language model at its core, NotebookLM is the company's response to a common struggle students and professors encounter: gathering facts from multiple sources.

Google has tried to differentiate NotebookLM from your typical AI chatbot (such as Bard) by letting the user "ground" it into their notes. This will provide users with an AI assistant tailored specifically for whatever information they're after.

For now, testers can ground NotebookLM into Google Docs to obtain a summary of a document's contents. The AI will summarize everything a user has written and return key topics in writing alongside some questions so they can test themselves.

An example of Google's NotebookLM software summarizing a document.

(Image credit: Google)

Users can ask NotebookLM questions about the document they've submitted, as well. Lastly, the AI helper can generate ideas for users based on what they've uploaded. As an example, Google states a content creator can ask the software to create a script based on a topic for a short video or to generate questions in preparation for an interview.

Google adds that NotebookLM was built to only use the information you've chosen to upload, and your information will not be visible to other people. However, there is still a risk that the software could "hallucinate" certain aspects of information. This means the AI could display information that is simply incorrect. 

Google has implemented a way to make fact-checking easy by having the AI helper provide citations from where it received its information.

The company reiterated its commitment to being responsible for its AI software, a topic discussed during its initial keynote speech at Google I/O 2023. The post states Google will adhere to safety criteria (AI Principals) before rolling NotebookLM out to additional users.

As previously stated, a limited amount of users will gain access to NotebookLM today. Those interested in trying out the latest AI tool can join the waiting list and await further instructions.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.