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Google IO 2023 Keynote

Google I/O is an annual developer conference held each spring where the latest news, platform updates, products, and future innovations are revealed.1

I had high expectations and let me tell you, they were met. I knew there were big things on the horizon, especially with all the rumblings about AI and how it’s transforming the internet as we know it. I’d previously written about the state of AI and search and how much it has evolved, so I was eager to hear from the OGs themselves.

From the beginning, they made their goal known – to make AI helpful for everyone. The entire presentation was two hours long, but I’m only going to focus on the following areas:

  • Gmail & Google Maps
  • AI Responsibility
  • Bard
  • Google Search

Gmail & Google Maps

Gmail

Help Me Write is a new AI-powered tool that helps users write better emails, documents, and presentations. Think Grammarly, but Google’s version. The feature is available in Gmail, Docs, and Slides and can help:

  • Generate content: Based on your prompts, the AI tool will write content for you.
  • Suggest edits: The tool can suggest edits to your writing, such as grammar corrections, spelling errors, and general tips for improving your writing style.
  • Provide feedback: It will provide feedback on your writing for things such as readability, clarity, and conciseness.
  • Integrate emails: It can pull in details from other emails, like flight info or dinner reservations.

Google Maps

The Immersive View feature has been expanded to include routes. Immersive View is a feature launched by Google last year that allows users to virtually explore a place before visiting. Immersive View for Routes leverages that same technology, but for your morning commute or bike ride. Some other key updates are:

  • New cities: Immersive View is now available in more cities, including London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
  • Interior rendering: Immersive View can now be used to see the interiors of buildings, such as restaurants and museums.
  • Time of day: You can now see what a place looks like at different times of the day, so you can plan your visit accordingly.
  • Weather: Immersive View can now show you the weather conditions at a location, so you can dress appropriately.
  • Traffic: You are now able to view the current traffic conditions at a location, to help plan your route accordingly.

These features will begin to roll out over the summer of 2023.

AI Responsibility

I was happy this topic was included because images, videos, and audio are all becoming harder to differentiate between genuine and AI-generated. The speakers said they’re combatting this issue by:

  • Watermarking Assets: This means embedding hidden information directly into a digital asset such as an image, audio file, or video. This information can be used to track ownership, prevent unauthorized copying, or provide other information about the asset.
  • Metadata: This is data that describes an asset. It’s stored in a database, in a file, or in a combination of both and allows content creators to associate additional context to images, giving you more info when you encounter an image.2

Watermarking is typically used to protect assets from unauthorized copying and to provide information about the asset, while metadata is used to organize and manage assets and to make them more searchable.2

Bard

Bard is Google’s experiment with conversational AI. It can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way. The best way I could describe it is ChatGPT, but better.

Bard’s dataset is constantly being updated with the latest info and data, while ChatGPT is limited to older data. Additionally, Bard is powered by Google’s next-generation language model PaLM 2, while ChatGPT uses GPT-3.5. This means that Bard is better at common sense reasoning, logic, and mathematics than ChatGPT.2

A key use case for Bard is making developers’ lives easier.

It can help with:

  • Creating and editing code
  • Explaining code snippets
  • Improving code snippets
  • Debugging

Bard has learned over 20 programming languages, including Google Sheets. My favorite feature is the ability to organize responses by creating tables and uploading them directly into Google Sheets.

Bard is available in 180 countries and territories and they are working on adding more. It’s on track to support 40 languages soon and is currently available in Japanese and Korean.

Google Search

Google is bringing generative AI into search.

Sometimes when searching in Google, we may have to try asking the question in different ways, or piecing together answers to eventually find what we’re looking for.

Now, AI will do the heavy lifting for us.

Integrated search results pages with AI-powered snapshots are here. While a typical search results page only includes links and descriptions, this new snapshot will give you more. For example:

  • If you are searching for a new restaurant, the snapshot can provide you with a summary of the restaurant’s menu, hours of operation, and location. You can also use the snapshot to read reviews of the restaurant.2
  • If you are shopping online, the snapshot can provide you with a summary of the product’s features, important considerations, current pricing, and available retailers.2

You can take it a step further with the new conversational mode to ask follow-up questions, allowing you to easily narrow your search without having to redo it entirely.

Join the waitlist now to try it out.

Conclusion

The presentation left me super inspired and ready to use these new tools in our agency and for our clients. I am most excited about the independence these new tools give us. To be able to write code or create social posts without using multiple apps, lots of money, and time is truly making life easier for everyone.

Sources

1. https://blog.google/inside-google/google-io-meaning/
2. https://bard.google.com/
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNfINi5CNbY&t=5312s

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