Google Incorporates More Useful AI into Latest Search Updates

Published October 1, 2021, 9:03 AM

by Robert D. Reyes

Google has been synonymous with search, thus the term “i-Google mo” has fast become a norm for us Filipinos. Over the past few years, the company has been incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make their search engine more useful even to the non-techies.

During the Search On online event (live-streamed early morning of Thursday, 30 September 2021 Philippine time), Google shared how they are bringing the latest in AI to their products to give people new ways to search and even explore information in more natural and intuitive ways.

Introducing MUM

At Google I/O earlier this year, the search giant announced that they had reached a critical milestone for understanding information with Multitask Unified Model (MUM). Using the capabilities of MUM, Google products can be more helpful by enabling entirely new ways to search.

The company promised that in the coming months, they will be introducing a new way to search visually — with the ability to ask questions about what you see — made possible with MUM.

With this new capability, mobile Search users can tap on the Lens icon when looking at a picture — say of a shirt — and ask Google to find you the same pattern, but on another article of clothing, like socks. This particular feature helps when you’re looking for something that might be difficult to describe accurately with words alone. One could type “white floral Victorian socks,” but you might not find the exact pattern you’re looking for. By combining images and text into a single query, Google is making it easier to search visually and express one’s questions in more natural ways.

Some questions are even trickier: Your bike has a broken “thingamajig,” and you need some guidance on how to fix it. Instead of poring over catalogs of parts and then looking for a tutorial, the point-and-ask mode of searching will make it easier to find the exact moment in a video that can help.

A Redesigned Search Page

With the aim to make searching more natural and intuitive, Google is making it easier to explore and understand new topics with “Things to know.”

For example, you want to decorate your house, and you are interested in learning more about creating acrylic paintings. Simply search for “acrylic painting,” and Google will display how people typically explore this topic to help you find the right path to take.

In the future, MUM will unlock deeper insights you might not have known to search for — like “how to make acrylic paintings with household items” — and connect you with content on the web that you wouldn’t have otherwise found.

Another feature to be added to Google search in the coming months is making it easy to zoom in and out of a topic with new features to refine and broaden searches.

Lastly, the tech company is making it easier to find visual inspiration with a newly designed, browsable results page with a visually rich page full of ideas from across the web, with articles, images, videos, and more that you can easily scroll through.

This new visual results page is designed for searches that are looking for inspiration, like “Halloween decorating ideas” or “indoor vertical garden ideas,” and you can try it today.

Get More from Videos

Google is taking a step further in video search by introducing a new experience that identifies related topics in a video, with links to easily dig deeper and learn more using MUM.

With the new feature, the search engine can even show related topics that aren’t explicitly mentioned in the video, based on its advanced understanding of the information therein. For example, while the video doesn’t say the words “macaroni penguin’s life story,” Google’s systems will understand that topics contained in the video relate to this topic, like how macaroni penguins find their family members and navigate predators. The first version of this feature will roll out in the coming weeks, and more visual enhancements will be added in the coming months.

A More Helpful Google

Also announced during the Search On online event is Google’s goal of making it easier to shop from the widest range of merchants, big and small, no matter what you’re looking for. The search giant also promised to help people better evaluate the credibility of information they find online and to find new ways to help people get access to information and insights.

“As we continue to build more useful products and push the boundaries of what it means to search, we look forward to helping people find the answers they’re looking for, and inspiring more questions along the way,” said the search giant.