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Google Bard introduces safety guardrails to protect teens

Google has announced that it has opened up access to Bard for teenagers with safety guardrails in place. The feature is now available in most countries around the world for those who meet the minimum age requirement to manage their own Google Account and have set English as their primary language.

According to Google, Bard has been trained to recognize areas that are inappropriate for younger users and has implemented safety features and guardrails to help prevent unsafe content from appearing in its responses to teens. The company also plans to automatically run a double-check response feature the first time a teen asks a fact-based question, in order to evaluate whether there’s content across the web to substantiate Bard’s response. This feature will soon automatically run when any new Bard user asks their first factual question. Additionally, Google will 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 help shape the content policies and an experience that prioritizes safety. Organizations like the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) advised Google on how to keep the needs of teens and families in mind.

Stephen Balkam, Founder & CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, commented on Google’s approach, stating that “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.”

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