Google’s AI future includes updates to Maps, Translate, Search and its Bard chatbot

Kareem Anderson

Google Live from Paris

Following Microsoft’s announcement of the injection of OpenAI’s artificial intelligence powered platform ChatGPT into Bing Search and its Edge browser, Google unveiled its own AI updates to several of its own key products.

Live from Paris today, Google briefly demoed its previously teased upcoming AI-infused chatbot dubbed Bard which will work incongruously with its search platform on both desktop and mobile devices.

Google’s Bard demo took up surprisingly little time during its event which might come as a disappointment for fans hoping the company would produce a one-to-one competitive presentation with Microsoft’s Bing + ChatGPT annoucement.

Despite a rocky on-stage demo, Google will be testing Bard in limited preview starting with individual developers, creators, and enterprises over the next month.

Contrary to public perception leading into today’s event, Google spent much of its presentation highlighting enhancements to its Google Lens, Google Maps and Google Translate tools.

In regards to Google Lens, the company is pushing ahead with further augmented reality development that will place translated text above the image it originated from, as well a new Search with Live View that enables users to get detailed data about places through a phone’s camera, is now open to Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid locations.

Android users will also be able to search images and text on their screen within apps, as well as trigger the multisearch tool in more areas. Google’s relatively new multisearch feature which allows users to start a search with a few words and an image and then bounce to additional searches within context of the original query, will now be available globally.

Google also unveiled several updates coming to Google Maps that include, Immersive View being expanded to five new cities: London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo with plans for availability in Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Venice, and more in the future. Google Maps will also start to surface information such as ETA’s and immediate directions from the lock screen on mobile devices.

Google’s Indoor Live View is adding an additional 1,000 new transit areas to its library that include airports, malls and train stations.

Google is also tossing EV drivers a bone with filtered searches that can now suggest charge stops based on speed alongside directions in Google Maps.

Lastly, Google mentioned that the visual upgrade to Google Translate that’s been on Android for a quick minute, will be coming to iOS in a “few weeks.”

Google’s presentation has been met with mixed reviews from fans and journalists thus far with many pointing out that the company simply expanded the availability of its current feature lists while earmarking AI powered projects for undisclosed dates in the future.

Whether Google knew it would be going up against Microsoft’s Bing + ChatGPT annoucement when it planned today’s event is up for debate, but what fans of technology got from the two companies over the past 48 hours was a front row seat to a reinvigorated effort of applying practical AI technologies, and that should benefit many soon.