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Google Maps Brings a New Generative AI Feature to Improve Discovery

Google has announced new artificial intelligence (AI) powered updates coming soon to Google Maps that aim to help users discover new places. The latest generative AI feature will give personalised recommendations based on users’ specific needs. It uses large language models (LLMs) to analyse more than 250 million locations on Google Maps and contributions from over 300 million contributors to pull up suggestions on where to go. The generative AI tool in Google Maps will be rolling out this week to select Local Guides in the US.

Alphabet-owned Google, via a blog post on Friday (February 2), announced the arrival of a new generative AI feature to Google Maps. The new tool will assist users in exploring new places and provide tailor-made suggestions based on their specific needs. Using large-language models (LLMs), the new feature will analyse Maps’ detailed information on more than 250 million places and trusted insights from a community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.

Select Local Guides, who voluntarily contribute reviews, photos, answers to questions, check facts and more on Google Maps, in the US can avail of the generative AI feature this week. A wider rollout of the new capability will take place after receiving feedback from these active members of the Google Maps community.

Google has listed a few examples of the generative AI search feature in use in the official announcement post. If a user is visiting San Francisco and wants to plan a few hours of thrifting for unique vintage finds, the user can ask Maps what they’re looking for, like “places with a vintage vibe in SF” and the AI models will analyse Maps’ information about nearby businesses and places along with photos, ratings and reviews from the Maps community to give suggestions.

Additionally, users will see results organised into categories along with photo carousels and review summaries. The conversation can be continued with follow-up questions like “How about lunch?” and the AI feature will suggest places matching the interests of users. Google claims the AI-powered feature will help in easily discovering places and exploring the world with Maps.

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