Published on February 2, 2024, 10:18 am
Google Maps is integrating generative AI to enhance its search capabilities and provide more conversational suggestions for users. The new “Ask about” user interface allows people to ask questions like, “Where can I find places with a vintage vibe in San Francisco?” The AI analyzes various information such as photos, ratings, and reviews of nearby businesses to offer relevant suggestions. For example, in response to the vintage vibe query, Google Maps may suggest vinyl record stores, clothing stores, and flea markets along with their ratings, reviews, distances by car, and reasons why they might be of interest.
A unique feature of this AI integration is the ability to ask follow-up questions that remember previous queries. This context-based searching allows users to generate more specific results. For instance, if someone asks about lunch after inquiring about a vintage vibe, the AI will consider the previous prompt and recommend an old-school diner nearby.
These suggestions can be saved or shared, making it easier for users to coordinate plans with friends who have different preferences. Whether it’s checking if a venue is dog-friendly or ensuring it has vegan options, Google Maps aims to cater to individual needs.
By leveraging large-language models and data from over 250 million locations along with photos, ratings, and reviews from its community of over 300 million contributors, Google Maps intends to provide trustworthy suggestions. The experimental feature will initially be available for select Local Guides in the US before expanding further.
While some Reddit users expressed skepticism regarding the use of generative AI in basic database searches and suggested focusing on improving offline Maps and location-sharing features instead. Others recognized that AI integration is becoming increasingly prevalent across everyday apps. In the case of Google Maps, it has the potential to help users discover new places effortlessly while benefiting smaller businesses seeking visibility.
As we anticipate the release of these new features on Google Maps, there are already numerous hidden functionalities that many may not be aware of yet. To make the most out of Google Maps, you can explore our list of 10 things you didn’t know Google Maps could do.
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In conclusion, Google Maps’ integration of generative AI has the potential to revolutionize how users search for and discover new places. By analyzing extensive data from millions of contributors worldwide, Google aims to provide personalized suggestions while helping smaller businesses gain attention. With this advancement in AI technology, everyday apps are embracing innovation as they strive to enhance user experiences.