March 2, 2024
Google's AI-assisted NotebookLM note-taking app is now open to users in the US


Google’s AI note-taking app is now available to all users in the United States who are at least 18 years old, the company announced on Friday. The experimental app is also getting a slew of new features and starting to use Gemini Pro, Google’s new large language model, to “help with document understanding and reasoning.”

Once you upload documents to NotebookLM, the app can automatically generate summaries and suggest follow-up questions about the content in the documents. Unlike generic chatbots that draw on large amounts of unrelated information, NotebookLM solely focuses on the documents that it is fed.

Now, Google is adding new capabilities to the product to go beyond generating summaries and suggesting questions.

NotebookLM now has new tools designed to help users organize their curated notes into structured writing projects. For instance, you can select a set of notes and ask NotebookLM to create something new, such as a script outline, email newsletter or a draft of a marketing plan.

Plus, NotebookLM can now suggest actions based on whatever you’re currently doing. For instance, say you have selected a passage while reading a source. NotebookLM will automatically offer to summarize the text that you have selected into a new note or help you understand the content of the text. In another instance, say you’re writing a note. NotebookLM will offer to refine your prose or suggest related ideas from your sources based on what you have written so far.

Image Credits: Google

The tech giant is adding a new noteboard space to let you easily pin quotes from the chat or your own written notes. Google says the new space was a key request from users who said they wanted the ability to save their exchanges with NotebookLM as notes.

Google is also making a few other small tweaks to the product. Now when you add a note, NotebookLM will create an independent new note instead of adding to a single notepad. And when you click on the citation number in a chat response or a saved note, you will now immediately be taken to the original quote in the source.

If you want to concentrate exclusively on notetaking, you can now hide the source. And if you want to focus NotebookLM’s AI on selected sources, you can chat with a specific set of sources in your notebook by selecting them individually in the source sidebar. Plus, Google is adding PDF support and copied text support, which means you can now copy and paste text to create a new source and edit the title once it’s created.

In addition to the new features, Google is also expanding the product’s limitations, as notebooks can now include up to 20 sources, while a source can now include up to 200,000 words.

Today’s announcement comes around five months after the tech giant made NotebookLM available to a select few. Google first demoed its “AI notebook for everyone” during Google I/O earlier this year as Project Tailwind before renaming it to NotebookLM. At the time, Google said the app could be used by students as a way to organize their lecture notes and other documents when completing coursework.

NotebookLM is promising, but as TechCrunch’s Devin Coldeway previously noted, let’s hope the product doesn’t end up in the Google Graveyard like so many of the tech giant’s other experimental projects.



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