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Google Launches an AI-Powered Note Taking App

Google Launches an AI-Powered Note Taking App

Sarah Hardacre
Designed to help people synthesize and make connections with their notes, Google has launched an experimental application called NotebookLM. Earlier this year, NotebookLM was first introduced during Google I/O as Project Tailwind, an experiment from Google Labs.

With the rapid increase in the quantity of information, it can sometimes be overwhelming to find the right details and make the right connections between various sources. NotebookLM provides features and capabilities to make all of this easier.

When users add a Google Doc into NotebookLM, “it will automatically generate a summary, along with key topics and questions to ask so you get a better understanding of the material.”

Users can then ask questions to dive deeper into the content and generate insights that are not readily available. For example, users reviewing their research notes could ask for all the events that happened in the 19th century.

NotebookLM can also generate content, which is why Google has added “LM” to its name as a reminder of the Language Model that powers it. Users could add ideas for a video to their Google Doc and ask NotebookLM to generate a script.

NotebookLM is currently only available in the US for a limited number of users, and those interested can sign up to the waitlist on the NotebookLM dedicated page. Google is asking users testing the app to provide feedback. One of its main goals is to improve the product to ensure that there aren’t any issues with the AI before releasing it to a larger market.

Conscious of the ongoing debates around data privacy and AI, Google is clear that NotebookLM will only have access to the content users choose. Google reassures users that it’s “built NotebookLM such that the model only has access to the source material that you’ve chosen to upload.” None of the data or dialogue with the app will be collected and used to train other AI models.

By limiting the data on which NotebookLM functions, Google is also hoping that it will create more accurate responses. However, Google still advises users to fact check any responses, stating clearly that the AI cannot fix mistakes in the source data itself. Google has made fact checking easier by providing citations and relevant sources when NotebookLM provides responses.

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