As we expected, Google is bringing the power of AI into all aspects of products. Chrome got upgraded with generative AI features a few days back, and now it’s Google Maps.
Google is now experimenting with large language models to help users discover more places in Google Maps by rolling out the feature this week to select local guides in the US.
Using this feature, the users will be able to ask for restaurant or shopping recommendations, for example, using its large language model to “analyze Maps’ detailed information about more than 250 million places and trusted insights from our community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.”
As I’ve stated above, this feature is now live for the local guide in the US. And there is no confirmation on when it will be available for the rest of the world.
With Maps, Google is trying to flex its prowess in the field of AI. Now they are trying to turn Maps into a search engine to find or discover new places. And the example Google provided to help us understand is very Google’s way of doing things.
“Let’s say you’re visiting San Francisco and want to plan a few hours of thrifting for unique vintage finds. Just ask Maps what you’re looking for, like “places with a vintage vibe in SF.” Our AI models will analyze Maps’ rich information about nearby businesses and places along with photos, ratings, and reviews from the Maps community to give you trustworthy suggestions.”
Google says these AI-driven results will come in handy when you are feeling spontaneous and need to change your plans suddenly.
It is unclear how different it will be from regular Google Maps searches. I think they will try to hit the sweet spot in conversational response in the style of chatbots we’ve been using for the past couple of years.