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- Google Maps start generative AI pilot with Local Guides
Google Maps start generative AI pilot with Local Guides
Google Maps is the next app getting generative AI upgrades (after Chrome, YouTube and Workspace). The goal is to make it a powerhouse for discovering new spots. Whether you want a day out with friends with all sorts of preferences or just looking for something unique, Maps wants to help with all types of queries.
What’s going on here?
Google's rolling out AI magic in Maps to suggest places based on your vibe or needs, starting with a select group of Local Guides in the U.S.
What does this mean?
Imagine you're craving some vintage shopping in San Francisco. Ideally, you want to hop around different types of shops: clothes, jewellery and trinkets, or maybe electronics. The basic Maps search doesn’t do a good job at that.
With generative AI over ratings, reviews, and photos from Maps’ community, Google’s trying to serve up some top-notch recommendations. You get the results similar to a normal Maps query but you can now also create a thread by asking follow-up questions.
Why should I care?
I’ve tried to use Bard for similar use cases. Bard’s much better than ChatGPT at this but still I’ve had two troubles: a) it’s limited in options and stops after 3-4 recommendations and b) it’s detached from the navigation functions of Maps (though it’s been improving on it). With Gen AI inside Maps and follow-up questions, I can see it being a regular use case for many people.
It’s first coming to Local Guides in the US, but the recent speed of Google’s product integrations is somewhat refreshing—I’m not holding this one against them.