Google, on Wednesday, September 28, held the 2022 edition of ‘Search On’, the company’s annual virtual event to announce new features and developments in Search.
The search engine giant, at the live-streamed event, revealed how machine learning advancements are helping people to gather and explore information in new ways, and of course, made some key announcements.
Here’s a closer look at some of them:
1. Multisearch is expanding
According to Google, each month, people use Lens to answer more than 8 billion questions, using their camera or an image. Earlier this year, the company introduced multisearch, which it describes as “a major milestone in how people search for information”.
“With multi-search, you can take a picture or use a screenshot and then add text to it — similar to the way you might naturally point at something and ask a question about it. Multisearch is available in English globally, and will now be rolling out in 70 languages in the next few months,” Google said in a statement.
2. Multisearch near me
Google said “Multisearch near me” — which it previewed during its Google I/O conference in May — supercharges multi-search capability, which allows users to take a screenshot or a photo of an item, and then find it nearby.
“So if you have a hankering for your favourite local dish, all you need to do is screenshot it, and Google will connect you with nearby restaurants serving it. Multisearch near me will start rolling out in the U.S.A later this year.”
3. Translation in the blink of an eye
For the search engine giant, one of the most powerful aspects of visual understanding is its ability to break down language barriers. With Lens, Google said it has gone beyond translating text to translating pictures by translating text in images over 1 billion times per month, in more than 100 languages.
Citing major advancements in machine learning, the company said it is now able to blend translated text into complex images, which makes the text look and feel much more natural: “For example, if you point your phone at text on a poster, the translated text will be realistically overlaid over the pictures underneath.”
Google has also optimized their machine learning models to do all this in just 100 milliseconds — shorter than the blink of an eye. This uses generative adversarial networks (also known as GAN models), which is what helps power the technology behind the Magic Eraser on Pixel.
The tech giant announced that the improved experience is launching later this year.
4. Google for iOS updates
Google appears not to be joking with iOS users. The company said it is putting some of its most helpful tools right at the users’ fingertips on iOS.
“From now on, you’ll see shortcuts right under the search bar to shop your screenshots, translate the text with your camera, hum to search and more,” it announced.
Just recently, Google began to roll out its first iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets with updates to Chrome and Drive.
5. Even faster ways to find what you’re looking for
Google said it is working to make it possible to ask questions with fewer words -or even none at all and still help users find what they are looking for. Ever desired a faster way to find what you’re searching for? The solution is here.
In the coming months, when you begin to type a question, Google will start providing relevant content right away, before you’ve even finished typing. And for those who don’t know exactly what they’re looking for until they see it, Google will help you to specify your question.
So if you’re looking for a holiday destination in Kenya, Google will provide keyword or topic options like “best cities in Kenya for families” so you can find results that are most relevant to you. Cool, isn’t it?
6. New ways to explore information
Google is reinventing the way it displays Search results to better reflect the ways people explore topics. So you’ll start to see the most relevant content, from a variety of sources, no matter what format the information comes in — whether that’s text, images or video – including content from creators on the open web.
So if you’re searching for topics like cities, you may see visual stories and short videos from people who have visited, tips on how to explore the city, things to do, how to get there and other important aspects you might want to know before you embark on your travels.
According to Google, these new updates will be rolled out in the coming months.
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