Here are 9 ways Google is powering its products using AI

David Afolayan
Google is using AI, today, to make its products more helpful, including some of its recently announced features…
Google to unveil Bard; an experimental conversational AI service

The past few years have seen huge breakthroughs in the use and application of artificial intelligence — and AI holds major promise for people around the world. AI already powers Google’s core products that help billions of people every day.

On the global stage, tech is getting folks excited again. A head-to-head battle of the major giants on AI+search optimization is at the frontier of what we should expect going forward. What we will be seeing, going forward, is a race on many fronts: talent acquisition, price swings and an unimaginable amount of resources being shovelled into the battle for search.

The stage is set for an epic battle and the world will be better for it.

Our focus today is on how one of the major players, Google is using AI, today, to make its products more helpful, including some of its recently announced features. In this article, I consider nine new features that you should know about.

Similar: Google unveils ‘Bard’ AI tool to rival ChatGPT

Here we go:

When Google was founded, most searches happened on computers in homes, computer labs or libraries. Twenty-five years later, AI is making it possible to search in new languages, with new inputs (like searching with your camera or even humming a tune) and even multiple inputs at once.

How many times have you tried to find the perfect piece of clothing, a tutorial to recreate nail art or even instructions on how to take care of a plant someone gifted you — but you didn’t have all the words to describe what you were looking for?

Now with Google’s multisearch, you can search using images and text at the same time with the Google app. So next time you’re inspired by an interesting wallpaper pattern, you can just snap a photo and add text to find that pattern on a shirt.

Here are 9 ways Google is powering its products using AI- Google Multisearch
Google Multisearch

The feature is powered by the latest in computer vision and language understanding techniques. Now with Google multisearch, users can ask questions about an object in front of them by taking a picture or even refine their search by colour, brand or other additional attributes.

To get started, simply open up the Google app on Android or iOS, tap the Lens camera icon and either search for one of your screenshots or snap a photo of the world around you, like the stylish wallpaper pattern at your local coffee shop.

Then, swipe up and tap the “+ Add to your search” button to add text.

2. Maps

Every day, over 1 billion kilometres are driven with Google Maps in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. Google Maps uses AI to analyze data and provide up-to-date information about traffic conditions and delays — sometimes helping users to avoid a traffic jam altogether.

Last year, Google partnered with DeepMind, an Alphabet AI research lab, to improve the accuracy of its traffic prediction capabilities. 

Google Maps
Google Maps…

With the new feature, Google Maps has been able to cut the percentage of inaccurate ETAs even further by using a machine learning architecture known as Graph Neural Networks–with significant improvements in places like Berlin, Jakarta, São Paulo, Sydney, Tokyo, and Washington D.C. 

Now with immersive view, Google Maps has fused together billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world to allow users truly experience a place before they ever step foot inside.

With AI, Google Maps also uses 2D images of a venue to generate a highly accurate, 3D representation that models the true complexity of what a place is like – so you can see if a restaurant has great lighting for a date night or an awesome outdoor seating area.

Read also: Google Search trends reveal Nigerians are more interested in AI than ever before

4. Translate

Google Translate uses AI and machine learning to break down language barriers and allow people to connect across the world. With a continuing push with state-of-the-art Machine Language-driven translation, the app now supports 133 languages.

Google Translate
Google Translate

Now, Google has expanded the number of languages available on-device in the Translate app with 33 new ones available to use whether they have a network connection or are travelling without one.

The new languages include Basque, Corsican, Hawaiian, Hmong, Kurdish, Latin, Luxembourgish, Sundanese, Yiddish and Zulu, among others.

5. Pixel

With the recent announcement, AI can now help your Pixel phone instantly translate between 21 languages in chat, as well as facilitate a verbal conversation between 6 different languages in Interpreter Mode.

Google Pixel
Google Pixel 5 phones…

It’s also what enables Magic Eraser on Pixel 6 to remove distractions from photos. Sometimes things get in the way of the perfect photo — like an accidental photobomb or power lines you didn’t notice. They can distract from the photo, pulling the attention from what you were really trying to capture.

Magic Eraser can detect distractions in your photos, like people in the background, power lines and power poles, and suggest what you might want to remove. Then, you can choose whether to erase them all at once or tap to remove them one by one.

Google Pixel Magic Eraser

 Using machine learning, Magic Eraser can figure out what you’re trying to remove based on what you circle, so you don’t have to spend time worrying about precise brushing. Then, once you decide what you want to erase, Magic Eraser uses machine learning again to predict what the pixels would look like if the distraction weren’t there.

6. Photos

People take a lot of photos but an abundance of pics makes it easy for memories to get buried. So back in 2015, Google developed AI in Photos to help users to search for photos by what’s in them. Google Photos automatically organizes memories by the people, places, and things that matter. Users now don’t have to tag or label any of them and they don’t need to laboriously create albums too.

Google Photos
Google Photos…

The app can also help you quickly enhance photos and combine them in new ways to help you relive your life’s moments. In one tap, get instant adjustments tuned to the photo’s colour, lighting, and subject to make each photo look its best.

Recently, Google is using AI in Photos to help users revisit forgotten “Memories.” With Memories, you can already look back on important photos from years past, recent highlights, moments with your loved ones, your favourite activities and more. 

Google Photos

These Memories will show up as you scroll through your photo grid, along with new Best of Month Memories and Trip highlights.

7. YouTube

YouTube uses AI to automatically generate captions for videos, making them more accessible to a wider audience, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

8. Assistant

Human beings speak like…human beings. For a long time, computers did not. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) AI technology developed for Assistant allows it to understand and respond in a way that mimics human communication — which allows it to parse the text of your question that tries to identify the meaning of your question.

Google Assistant now lets you launch apps and search
Google Assistant now lets you launch apps and search

So AI is what enables your phone, your Home, your TV, or your car to understand what you mean by “Hey Google, where’s the closest dog park” — and quickly get you directions.

Also read: ChatGPT: All the frenzy around AI as Google makes move

9. Gmail

We are all familiar with features like autocomplete and spell check, both of which are powered by AI. But if you’ve ever wondered why Gmail is less spammy than other email services — look to AI.

Gmail’s spam-filtering capabilities are powered by AI, and they block nearly 10 million spam emails every minute — and prevent more than 99.9% of spam, phishing attempts and malware from reaching you.

10. Google Arts & Culture’s

Woolaroo provides a new way to explore indigenous languages. It helps 17 global language communities to preserve, expand and share their language with you.

By applying machine learning, Woolaroo can recognize objects in front of your camera and propose translations for them – promoting language learning and preservation of heritage including Mãori, Louisiana Creole and Yiddish.

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