First revealed during I/O 2023 as Project Tailwind, the tool’s primary purpose is to help organize your messy notes by creating a summary detailing what you wrote down. It will even highlight important topics plus come up with several questions to help people gain a better understanding of the material. The big update coinciding with the release is that NotebookLM will now run on Gemini Pro, which the tech giant states is their “best [AI] model” for handling a wide variety of tasks. It claims the AI model will enhance the service’s reasoning skills as well as improve its ability to understand the documents it scans.
What’s more, Google took the feedback from NotebookLM’s five-month testing period and has added 15 new features aiming to improve the user experience.
The company highlights five specific features in its announcement with the first one being a “new noteboard space”. In this area, you’ll be able to take quotes from the AI chat or excerpts from your notes and pin them at the top for easier viewing. Next, citations in a response will take you directly to the source, “letting you see [a] quote in its original context.”
Highlighting text in said source will now suggest two separate actions. You can have the AI instantly “summarize the text” into a separate note or ask it to define words or phrases, which can be helpful if the topic is full of tough concepts. Down at the bottom, users will see a wider array of follow-up actions from suggestions on how to improve your prose to related ideas that you can add to your writing. NotebookLM will also recommend specific formats for your content that’ll shape it into an email layout or the outline of a script among other things.
The full list can be found on Google's Help website. Other notable features include an increased word count for sources (they can now be 200,000 words total), the ability to share notebooks with others much like Google Docs, and support for PDFs.
There are more updates on the way. Starting on the week of December 11, NotebookLM will gain an additional seven features. They include a Critique function where you can ask the AI for constructive feedback plus a way to combine all your notes into one big page.
NotebookLM is available in the United States only to users ages 18 and up on desktop and mobile devices. When you visit, you’ll see some examples to help you get started with the service. It’s worth mentioning that despite this being an official launch, Google still regards NotebookLM as “experimental” technology, so it won’t be perfect. No word on if there are plans for an international release although we did ask. This story will be updated at a later time.
While we have you check out Techradar's roundup of the best AI writers for 2023.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.