Google Maps is getting a generative AI boost. Here’s what it looks like

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Google Maps gets generative AI


Some Google products have already been enhanced to support a technology on everyone’s minds and lips: generative AI. Now, the company is adding a new capability to its Google Maps, allowing users to “chat” with Google Maps and get more nuanced feedback and suggestions on simple search results.

Google Maps is already the most popular app among navigation companions with over 67% of mapping users Selecting Google Maps on other apps; It already has more than one billion users by the end of 2023. The new generative AI feature could further boost that popularity.

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“Let’s say you’re visiting San Francisco and want to plan a worthwhile few hours to find unique wineries,” Miriam Daniel, vice president and general manager of Google Maps, said in a blog post. “Just ask Maps what you’re looking for, like ‘places with a vintage vibe in SF’. Our AI models will analyze Maps’ rich data about nearby businesses and places, including photos, ratings and reviews from the Maps community, to give you trusted recommendations.”

Results will be organized into categories using generative AI. For example, in Daniel’s scene above, they can be seen lining up at clothing stores, vinyl shops, and flea markets. These results will be accompanied by photo carousels and AI-generated review summaries that highlight key features of why a place might suit your purposes.

Users can ask Google Maps follow-up questions for a more complete search, like when they’re chatting with ChatGPT, for example.

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“Maybe you want to grab a bite to eat somewhere that maintains those vintage vibes. Continue the conversation with a follow-up question like, ‘How about lunch?'” Daniel added “The map will suggest places that match your vintage vibe” “Looking around like an old-school diner.”

This generative AI feature in Google Maps is powered by its large-language model (LLM), which can generate text and suggestions from more than 250 million saved places and reviews from more than 300 million contributors. It’s launching this week as an early access test for select local guides, with plans to roll out the feature generally over time.

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