What you need to know
- Google is making NotebookLM publicly available to users in the U.S. starting December 8.
- NotebookLM is a notebook that uses Google's new Gemini Pro artificial intelligence model to assist in a variety of ways.
- NotebookLM was in an early access preview, but is now opened up for all users. However, Google still considers it "experimental."
Google announced that NotebookLM, a notebook that uses AI to help you work smarter, will be publicly available to U.S. users starting December 8. The AI assistant is starting to use Gemini Pro, the large language model released by Google just days ago. Aside from the public rollout, NotebookLM is getting 16 new features based on feedback from the software's early access testers.
NotebookLM is a "personalized AI collaborator," according to Google. It works as a chatbot similar to Google Bard or ChatGPT but differs in a big way from those services. NotebookLM is all about sources, which are files or text uploaded to NotebookLM that will be used to provide answers to user queries. While other AI chatbots will pull information from all over the place, NotebookLM will only use what you give it.
However, Google still warns that NotebookLM may still give inaccurate responses. Regardless, NotebookLM looks to be the most accurate way to get help from AI.
There are some limitations to supported sources, but NotebookLM can support up to 200,000 words. "A source is a static copy of a Google doc you have access to, a PDF file, or text that is copied and pasted directly into the app," an explainer reads. "When using NotebookLM, the model will use the sources you upload to answer your questions or complete your requests."
We tested out the public version of NotebookLM and uploaded Google's own press release for today's announcement as a source. Then, we asked it questions about NotebookLM, which it answered correctly based on the press release.
But you can quickly see that Google is actually using your source text to answer questions with NotebookLM. That's because even the best LLMs wouldn't have training material relating to an announcement that was just announced today. Plus, if you ask NotebookLM a question that isn't answerable with your source, you won't get an answer.
As part of the public rollout, Google is tweaking NotebookLM based on the results of its early access preview period. There are a total of 16 modifications, according to the changelog. The biggest one is the ability to quickly save interactions with NotebookLM as notes with relevant citations. Without saving them, your conversations will disappear.
Google is also adding suggested actions to NotebookLM, which will debut sometime next week. These suggestions, like summarize to note and help me understand, will dynamically change based on how you're working with NotebookLM.
NotebookLM can now create new notes in specific formats, like Google's examples of an email newsletter or a script outline.
If you want to try NotebookLM today, you can access the feature via this link.
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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.