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Google unveils new AI tools to boost online search

Google unveils new AI tools to boost online search Google unveils new AI tools to boost online search (Getty Images)

Google introduced two new tools to help people search online more easily. If you use Google on certain Android phones, you will soon be able to circle or highlight things on your screen to get more information. You will also be able to ask complex questions using images and text, CNN reports.

Google has been testing these tools quietly to see how they can make searching more personalized and intuitive. The features were mentioned during Samsung's event and will be available on the Galaxy S24 and some other high-end Android phones, like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Google says in a statement that as part of the search evolution, the company made it easier to express what people looking for in ways that are more "natural and intuitive."

"Ultimately, we envision a future where you can search any way, anywhere you want. Now, as we enter 2024, we’re introducing two major updates that bring this vision closer to reality: Circle to Search and an AI-powered multi-search experience," Google says.

Two new features

The first tool, Circle to Search, lets Android users circle, tap, highlight, or scribble on pictures, videos, or text to learn more about what they see.

"When something grabs your interest, it can be disruptive to stop what you’re doing and use another app or browser to start searching for information. But now, whether you’re texting friends, browsing social media, or watching a video, you can search for what’s on your screen right when your curiosity strikes," the statement says.

Google unveils new AI tools to boost online searchGoogle introduces new features (Getty Images)

The second tool, Get Help from AI, allows you to use your phone's camera to ask a question about something you come across.

"When you point your camera (or upload a photo or screenshot) and ask a question using the Google app, the new multi-search experience will show results with AI-powered insights that go beyond just visual matches," the statement says, adding that this gives the ability to ask more complex or nuanced questions and quickly find key information.

The company makes an example. "Imagine you’re at a yard sale and you come across an unfamiliar board game...Just take a picture of the game, add your question (“How do you play this?”), and you’ll get an AI-powered overview that brings together the most relevant information from across the web."

Google seeks to bring AI to the search

Google has been making improvements to Search over the years, such as voice search and the Lens tool that uses image recognition. Recently, Google announced the launch of its new artificial intelligence model, Gemini, which will serve as a key component of the company's AI functions.

The company also aims to implement AI to boost its search capacities. The technology is called Search Generative Experience (SGE), and it is expected to revolutionize how users search for information.

Google's moves are part of a larger trend in the tech industry of bringing AI tools to improve services. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta also working on similar technologies.