Google's highly anticipated AI notebook for everyone, previously known as Project Tailwind, is now being unveiled as NotebookLM, with access granted to a select group of individuals.
If you find it challenging to organise the abundance of information stored in your Google Drive, the integration of AI capabilities could be the solution you've been seeking.
During the I/O event held in May, the project was introduced as a solution for students to efficiently manage their assortment of lecture notes and other coursework-related documents.
Diverging from a typical chatbot that relies on a wide range of loosely connected information, NotebookLM takes a different approach by primarily focusing on analysing and answering questions based on the specific documents it is provided.
While it can still utilise its broader knowledge when necessary, the primary objective is to prioritise the information it has recently encountered.
Suppose you're studying Lord Byron and inquire about the significance of his death in Greece instead of England. In such a scenario, NotebookLM will initially refer to your notes and related documents to provide a response.
However, if you haven't specifically recorded the date and location of his death (April 19, 1824, in Missolonghi, Greece), the system can still retrieve that information from external sources. This is my general understanding of how the system operates.
According to Google, this process of "source-grounding" appears to minimize the generation of fictional counterfactual information. However, the company advises users to fact-check any information provided by the AI against their own notes.
It raises the question of whether this approach ultimately saves time, but for individuals who possess a strong grasp of the material yet occasionally struggle to recall it in the moment, it could prove to be a beneficial tool.
“We’ll be talking to people and communities often to learn about what’s working well and where the gaps are, with the intent of making NotebookLM a truly useful product.” In other words, we think this is cool but have no idea what to do with it. There’s promise here, though, so let’s hope this doesn’t end up in the Google Graveyard like so many of its other “experiments.” Don’t get attached.