Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Google Bard, Canva Create, YouTube Podcasting
This week I got my hands on Google’s Bard AI, learned about live streaming from Google Meet meetings to YouTube, played with Canva’s new “magic” tools and more.
Last week’s poll: Last week I asked newsletter subscribers what topics they were most interested in. “YouTube and video updates” were by far the most popular. Thank you for your responses. I’ll keep that in mind!
Testing live streaming from Meet to YouTube
This week I was joined by my friend and colleague Nina Trankova in testing live streaming from a Google Meet meeting to YouTube.
This is a premium feature that requires either a paid subscription to Google Workspace Individual or Google One with at least 2 TB of data. It is also included in several Google Workspace enterprise and education editions.
You can watch our live stream on my YouTube channel here. And then from the same meeting we live streamed to Nina’s channel here.
I have a comprehensive tutorial on how to set up a YouTube channel for live streaming from Meet in the works. It will be published this weekend (it was supposed to be published on Friday, but I ran into some technical difficulties).
Playing with Google Bard
I also got access to Bard, Google’s AI chatbot. I played around with it, and it was OK.
Not surprisingly, the responses to prompts often had incorrect details.
What I found disappointing was that the responses were so boring, especially as it is being promoted as a brainstorming or creative tool.
I think it would also be much improved if there was an actual back-and-forth chat, rather than single prompts and responses.
If you are in the US or UK, you can sign up to use Bard here.
This week Canva was live from Sydney, announcing a bunch of new “magical” features.
Magic Design is an AI tool that creates custom designs from your media “in the context you need”. If you have a free Canva account, you can try it here.
Draw is a new free-form drawing tool. You can use it on a Canva whiteboard, or on any of your creations. It is supposed to automatically smooth your lines and will eventually match drawings to images in the Canva element library.
Translate will automatically translate text into 134 different languages. For free accounts there is a cap of 50 total pages. Paid accounts can translate up to 500 pages per month.
For photo editing Magic Eraser lets you remove unwanted parts of your photo. Magic Editor uses AI to add or swap out elements in a photo. Magic Editor is free to use, but Magic Eraser requires a Pro account.
Beat Sync lets you easily synchronize videos to the music beat in the audio track. Free accounts can mark beats manually. Pro accounts can automatically sync video to the beat.
Magic Design will quickly create a draft presentation from a few words of description.
Magic Write, Canva’s AI writing generator, is now available across their visual work suite (presentations, social media, websites, whiteboards, in addition to Canva Docs) in 18 languages. Free accounts can generate 25 queries. Paid accounts can generate 75 queries per month.
Text to Image is faster and the images have improved resolution.
Create an Animation lets you draw a path to automatically animate an image, rather than selecting one of Canva’s preset animations.
New editing tools. Canva has also added new editing tools, including layers, layout guides, customizable gradients, alt text and new fonts.
Finally there is a new Brand Hub where pro accounts can provide their team a Brand Kit, with Guidelines, Templates, Logos and more.
Canva is one of my essential tools, and the updates are pretty exciting. I feel like even with no design skills I can create images (and videos!) that are pretty decent.
More AI News
Adobe launched Firefly, their own generative AI tool that can create images from text, generate cool text effects, and (soon) easily create variations of your artwork. Notably, Firefly is trained on Adobe Stock images, licensed content and public domain content. Request access for the beta.
Bing Image Creator is a new AI-powered text to image tool in Bing chat and the Edge browser. Microsoft shared some background about the tool here.
Microsoft Designer is another AI-powered visual design tool. You can join the waitlist. (hat tip to Mark Barrus!)
Simon Willison explains that “ChatGPT can’t access the internet, even though it really looks like it can”. Bing’s AI can access web pages cached in Bing search.
OpenAI announced plugins for ChatGPT from a number of companies. A few I found interesting are from Wolfram|Alpha (allows ChatGPT to use Wolfram for computation), Slack (conversation summaries, research tools, draft messages),
YouTube and Video
Podcasters can now create podcast playlists in YouTube Creator Studio. That allows podcast videos to get podcast features, like podcast badges, promotional carousels, and podcast-specific search results, making them more discoverable on YouTube (but not YouTube Music). YouTube has also added new Podcast Analytics. Get the details in the latest Creator Insider video.
Have you noticed something different in the YouTube mobile app? YouTube recently redesigned over 450 system interface and topic icons, making them more accessible, consistent and (for topic icons) more colorful.
Ash Parrish at The Verge reports on Twitch’s recent efforts to help creators build their audiences (and earn money).
At SXSW Vimeo interviewed filmmaker Mark Molloy about branded storytelling.
Web Publishers and Blogging
WordPress just launched a new official WordPress Developer blog. According to the announcement, it’s meant to be a central hub for developers. It currently has updates, tutorials and more.
WordPress.com users can get course creation plugin Sensei Pro at a nice discount from Wordpress.
Twitter is finally removing unpaid verification checkmarks. As of April 1, you will have to pay to get that blue checkmark (and businesses can pay for a $1,000 per month yellow check). Apparently Twitter is also working on a setting to allow Blue subscribers to hide their checkmark, which is an interesting choice. They should probably just ditch the checkmarks entirely and call it “Twitter Pro”.
Google Docs is rolling out more customization options for tables and tables of contents.
What else I’m reading
In the New York Times Magazine: The Brilliant Inventor who made Two of History’s Biggest Mistakes, about Thomas Midgley Jr. who had a major role in developing leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons.
Yoel Roth, former head of Twitter Trust and Safety, wrote about how “Forcing TikTok to completely separate its US operations actually undermine national security”. Why? “you’re establishing geographic limits around a problem that does not respect geography”.
Header image background: Magical abstract art by Ivan Osadchyi on Canva. Free to use.