Google’s Bard AI chatbot is now available in 40 languages across 230 countries, as shared by Google earlier today.
But one Western country missing from that list is Canada.
As the National Post notes, Canada shares the distinction with Russia, China, North Korea, and Afghanistan.
There are several reasons to explain the absence of the chatbot in Canada. The first is Bill C-27, which is being debated in the House of Commons. Known as the Digital Charter Implementation Act, part of it covers AI regulation.
A second reason is an investigation into ChatGPT by Canadian privacy authorities. Noted as one of Bard’s competitors, ChatGPT is being investigated in how it collects and uses personal information. While the investigation doesn’t apply to Bard, the final results could.
Google is also currently in a negotiation period with Canada over Bill C-18. The Online News Act requires platforms like Google to pay Canadian news publishers to share their content. In response, Google said it would remove Canadian news from its Search, News, and Discover categories when the bill goes into effect later this year.
The government recently released proposed regulations on the matter, which would see Google limited to a financial threshold based on its revenue in Canada.
“We’re committed to being good partners as we work through regulatory uncertainty in Canada, and we’re enthusiastic about bringing Bard’s generative AI potential to Canadians soon,” Google told the National Post.
However, Canadians can maneuver their way around the lack of access and use a VPN to access Bard AI before it officially becomes available.
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