Google Maps experiments with generating artificial intelligence to improve discovery | TechCrunch

Google Maps is introducing generative artificial intelligence features to help you discover new places, company declare today.

The new feature uses large language models (LLMs) to stitch together more than 250 million locations on Google Maps and contributions from more than 300 million Local Guides to provide suggestions based on what you’re looking for. For example, if you want to find cool thrift stores in San Francisco, the company explains, you can search for “Places in San Francisco with a vintage vibe,” and the map will produce shopping recommendations organized by category, as well as a “photo carousel.” and review summaries”. The new feature is designed to feel more conversational than the average search experience. If you ask a follow-up question like “How was lunch?” the AI ​​will find restaurants that match the criteria, such as old-school restaurants, based on your previous interest in retro.

The company says the feature should be able to generate recommendations for the most niche or specific queries.

The early access experiment is launching this week in the U.S. and will be available to Select Local Guides, Google’s community of members who contribute reviews, facts, and photos on Maps to help other users get detailed information about different locations. Will be open to other users in the near future. The company has not revealed which other countries will get the feature.

October, Google renew Maps is more of a search tool, introducing various AI-driven features such as photo results and the ability to suggest specific places when entering vague queries like “things to do.” New generative AI capabilities look to be the next step for Maps to become a destination for discovering new places, rather than just using it for navigation.

“This is just the beginning of how we can use generative artificial intelligence to enhance maps,” Google wrote in a blog post today.

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