Google briefly introduces Bard and shows AI-enhanced lens and multi-search functions

2023 could be the year that artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies finally go mainstream. Despite global layoffs affecting thousands of employees at Google and Microsoft, these companies continue to invest heavily in AI innovation. In fact, the battle for AI supremacy intensified significantly towards the end of January 2023, when Microsoft completely blinded Google and announced a series of AI-focused updates to Bing, powered by the Microsoft-backed AI chatbot ChatGPT.

Surprised and practically cornered, Google responded to Microsoft’s running the gauntlet by announcing Bard, its own AI chatbot. However, the search giant did not stop with a simple chatbot. At a small event in Paris, France, the company announced major AI-focused updates to three of its flagship products – Google Search, Google Maps and Google Translate.

Although Google has made several changes to its search algorithm over the past 25 years, most of these changes have not resulted in major changes in the way people search online. Google wants to change all that by applying AI-focused advances to Google Search, and aims to make the process of finding information “more natural and intuitive.”

What are the new AI-focused changes to Google Search?

While text-based search results remain the most widely used method of searching for information online, the advantage of smartphone cameras has ushered in a new wave of image-based searches. Google answered many of these queries using Google Lens — the company’s image recognition technology — which is used more than 10 billion times a month.

While consumers can already use Lens right from the Google search bar, a new update to Google Lens allows users to search for anything on their screen. With the new Search Screen update for Google Lens, you can find more information about objects and places displayed on the screen. The feature works in all apps and gives users the information without having to exit the app. To invoke the feature, users must prompt Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button (or the power button) and tapping the “Search screen” option.

The second update to Google Search came in the form of the “Multisearch” feature, which allows users to combine two search types into a single query. This allows users to search with an image and add a few lines of text to the image for more accurate, contextual search results. A new feature has also been added to Multi-Search in the US, allowing users to search for an image and check the availability of the same at local businesses.

Google confirmed that its new AI-focused search enhancements will be rolled out globally and can be used in all countries where Google Lens is available. Google briefly introduces Bard and shows AI-enhanced lens and multi-search functions


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