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Updated February 2nd, 2024 at 12:04 IST

Google Maps to integrate GenAI to improve exploration

Currently, in early access, the experiment is launching this week in the United States and will be accessible to select Local Guides.

Google Maps
Google Maps | Image:Unsplash
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GenAI in Google Maps: Google Maps is set to unveil a new generative AI feature designed to enhance the exploration of new places, as announced by the company. Using large language models (LLMs), the feature analyses over 250 million locations on Google Maps and input from more than 300 million Local Guides to provide personalised suggestions. 

For example, users seeking unique thrift shops in San Francisco can input queries like "places with a vintage vibe in SF," prompting Maps to generate categorised shopping recommendations along with photo carousels and review summaries. The aim is to create a more conversational and intuitive search experience.

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The generative AI feature is capable of responding to follow-up questions, such as "How about lunch?" Based on the user's previous interest in vintage shops, the AI will identify restaurants meeting the specified criteria, like an old-school diner. Google asserts that the feature can generate recommendations for even the most niche or specific queries.

Currently, in early access, the experiment is launching this week in the United States and will be accessible to select Local Guides – members of Google's community who contribute reviews, facts, and photos to enhance Maps with detailed information about various locations. The feature will be extended to other users shortly, though the company has not specified the countries where it will be available.

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In October, Google revamped Maps to function more like a search tool, introducing AI-powered features like photo results and the ability to suggest specific places when faced with vague queries such as "things to do." The introduction of the generative AI feature marks another step in Maps' evolution, underlining its role as a platform for discovering new places rather than solely a navigation tool.

Google concludes by stating that this is just the initial phase of enhancing Maps with generative AI, indicating more developments to come in the future.

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Published February 2nd, 2024 at 12:04 IST

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