Google unveils AI enhancements
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Google used an event in Paris to unveil some of the latest AI advancements to its Search and Maps products.
At its I/O developer conference in May, Google was anticipated to make a significant number of AI-related announcements. This week's event appeared to be Google's hurried and ill-executed attempt to remind the world (or, more likely, investors) that it is also a leader in artificial intelligence and hasn't been left behind.
In Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP at Google opening remarks, stated that Google’s goal is to “significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible”. Throughout the event, various speakers appeared to really want to push the narrative that Google won’t take risks.
“When it comes to AI, it’s critical that we bring models to the world responsibly,” said Raghavan.
“Search is still our biggest moonshot,” said Raghavan.
The improvements Google has been making in the background that most people won't be aware of were highlighted in this section. Over the past year, Google Translate has added twenty new languages, using zero-shot machine translation.
Google Lens, which is currently used more than 10 billion times monthly, is another product that AI is still improving.
“The camera is the next keyboard,” explains Raghavan.
Google Lens is being expanded to support video content. A user can activate Lens, touch something they want to learn more about in a video clip (such as a landmark), and Google will bring up more information about it.
“If you can see it, you can search it,” says Reid.
Multi-search is another impressive visual search enhancement that Google showed off. The feature allows users to search with both an image and text so, for example, you could try and find a specific chair or item of clothing in a different colour.
According to Reid, users will be able to snap a picture of an item, such as a bakery item, and ask Google to find a nearby location via Google Maps where they may purchase something equal. According to Google, that function will soon be available for photographs on mobile search results pages.
Google’s conversational AI service is called Bard and it’s powered by LaMDA.
LaMDA is educated on dialogue for more open-ended natural interactions and can give up-to-date information from the web rather than depending on pre-defined responses like older chatbots.
Bard is already accessible to reliable testers, but according to Prabhakar, Google will verify that it satisfies the company's "high bar" for safety before making it widely available.
The company says that it’s embracing NORA (No One Right Answer) for questions like, “What is the best constellation to look for when stargazing?” as it’s subjective. Generative AI will be used in such instances to bring multiple viewpoints to results—which sounds quite similar to what it’s been doing in Google News for some time to help address bias concerns.
According to Phillips, AI "powers the next-generation of Google Maps." In order to transform 2D maps into "multi-dimensional views," Google is utilizing AI to combine billions of Street View and real-world photographs. This will allow users to virtually fly over buildings if they are planning a visit.
What's most fascinating, though, is how AI is allowing Google to take 2D pictures of inside spaces and transform them into 3D experiences that users can explore. When going on a date, it may be helpful to check out a restaurant beforehand to determine if the lighting and ambiance are romantic.
The 'Search with Live View' feature, which employs augmented reality to help consumers find objects nearby like ATMs, is now getting more improvements.
You may use the AR view to check the status of locations like coffee shops and even learn how busy they generally are.
Finally, Google is guiding consumers toward more environmentally friendly transportation options. Google aims to "make the sustainable choice, the easy decision," according to Phillips.
Owners of electric vehicles will benefit from new Google Maps features that take traffic, charge level, and energy use into account when planning trips. Improved charging stop suggestions and a "Very fast" charging filter will assist EV users in choosing a location where they can quickly top off and continue driving.
Even more sustainable than EV driving is walking. Google is making walking directions more “glanceable” from your route overview. The company says that it’s rolling out globally on Android and iOS over the coming months.
"Only just beginning," says Prabhakar. He goes on to say that more is in the works and the “best is yet to come.”