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Google Maps Introduces Conversational Search Powered by Generative AI

TL;DR

  • Google Maps introduces conversational search with AI for personalized suggestions based on user queries.
  • Experimental features in the US gather feedback from Local Guides to refine and improve before a full rollout.
  • Some users express skepticism, while others appreciate the potential for easy discovery of new places and support for local businesses.

Google Maps is set to revolutionize the way users search for places with the introduction of a conversational search feature powered by generative AI. The new “Ask about” user interface allows users to pose natural language queries, such as “places with a vintage vibe in San Francisco,” enabling the AI to provide tailored and insightful suggestions.

Upon receiving a user’s query, the AI delves into a vast pool of information, including photos, ratings, and reviews from over 300 million contributors. By tapping into Google’s large-language models, the technology analyzes data from more than 250 million locations, offering a comprehensive and trustworthy set of suggestions. For instance, a user seeking a vintage experience in San Francisco may receive recommendations for vinyl record stores, clothing boutiques, and flea markets, complete with location details, ratings, reviews, and distances by car.

Contextualized follow-up questions

The AI not only serves initial suggestions but also remembers the context of the user’s query. Users can ask follow-up questions, building on their previous searches. For example, after inquiring about vintage places, a user could follow up with “How about lunch?” The AI then factors in the previous “vintage vibe” context to suggest an old-school diner, demonstrating an enhanced understanding of user preferences.

Google Maps’ new feature is currently in its experimental phase, with a selective rollout to “select local guides” in the United States. This strategic approach allows Google to gather insights and feedback from these trusted contributors, refining and testing the feature before a potential full-scale release. While the company has not provided a specific date for the broader rollout, this cautious approach ensures a seamless and effective user experience.

User reactions and criticisms

Despite the innovative nature of the generative AI-powered feature, not all users are equally enthused. Some on the Android subreddit expressed skepticism, with concerns ranging from the overuse of AI as a buzzword to the potential impact on search speed. One user remarked, “Generative AI doesn’t have any place in a basic database search. There’s nothing to generate. It’s either there or it’s not.” Others echoed a desire for improvements to offline maps and location-sharing features.

Balancing innovation with user concerns

While some users are critical of the integration of generative AI in Google Maps, the technology’s potential to facilitate easy discovery of new places and support smaller businesses cannot be overlooked. The experimental phase allows Google to address user concerns, ensuring that the feature enhances the search experience without compromising efficiency.

The introduction of conversational search in Google Maps marks a significant stride in the incorporation of AI into our daily applications. As AI technology continues to evolve, users can anticipate more personalized and context-aware experiences, enabling them to effortlessly explore new venues and aiding local businesses in gaining visibility.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Derrick Clinton

Derrick is a freelance writer with an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. He works mostly on crypto projects' problems and solutions, offering a market outlook for investments. He applies his analytical talents to theses.

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