Google recently introduced new features to its note-taking app, NotebookLM. This app is designed for researchers, students, and individuals who need to organize the information they have gathered. Previously, users were limited to uploading Google Docs, PDFs, and text files. However, with the latest update, users can now upload Google Slides and web URLs as sources. Additionally, the new Notebook Guide feature can create study guides, FAQs, or briefing documents based on the sources in NotebookLM. Users can also include up to 50 sources per “notebook,” with each source being 500,000 words long.

One of the most exciting additions to NotebookLM is the ability to ask questions about charts, images, and diagrams that have been uploaded to the platform. This feature is made possible by Google’s Gemini 1.5 Pro, the latest large language model that powers the paid version of the Gemini chatbot. The inline citations in NotebookLM allow users to fact-check AI responses and ensure the accuracy of the information provided.

As a reporter covering AI, I had the opportunity to test out the new features of NotebookLM. While the Notebook Guide was not available for testing, I was able to add new data sources, retrieve inline citations, and utilize Gemini 1.5 Pro to analyze graphs. When I asked NotebookLM to extract information from a PDF containing a line graph, it successfully provided the numerical data I was seeking. Similarly, when I requested a summary of the EU AI Act, NotebookLM delivered an overview with proper citations.

Despite its advancements, NotebookLM still has some limitations. During my demo, I encountered issues with web URL sources. Although the model attempted to upload the website content, it did not register as a valid source in my list. It is essential to note that NotebookLM is not designed to write complete research papers for users. Unlike Perplexity’s Pages, which claims to assist researchers in finding and sharing data, NotebookLM focuses on organizing and analyzing existing information.

Google highlighted examples of how individuals have utilized NotebookLM in their work. For instance, author Walter Isaacson reportedly used the platform to analyze Marie Curie’s journals for an upcoming book. These use cases demonstrate the practicality and versatility of NotebookLM in various fields.

Google’s NotebookLM offers a valuable tool for individuals seeking to manage and analyze vast amounts of information efficiently. With its updated features and integration with Gemini 1.5 Pro, this note-taking app provides users with enhanced capabilities for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. While there are still some limitations to be addressed, NotebookLM remains a promising solution for researchers, students, and anyone in need of a comprehensive information management system.


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