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Google Announces AI-Powered ‘Ask Photos’ Feature for Google Photos at I/O 2024

Google Announces AI-Powered ‘Ask Photos’ Feature for Google Photos at I/O 2024
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Google Photos received a surprise upgrade at the Google I/O 2024 event’s keynote session on Tuesday. The session, led by CEO Sundar Pichai, witnessed several major artificial intelligence (AI) announcements, including new upgrades for Gemini 1.5 Pro, new Google Search features, the introduction of new image and video AI models, and more. Interestingly, the tech giant also unveiled Ask Photos, a new AI-powered intelligent chatbot for Google Photos that makes searching for a particular image in the library easier.

During the event, Pichai highlighted that the company is now creating more powerful search experiences within Google products using Gemini’s capabilities. One such example is Google Photos, which was one of the first platforms by the tech giant to get AI capabilities. Before the new updates, AI tools in Photos could only understand basic keywords and certain subjects, which could be used to help find photos users were looking for. However, with the latest intelligent search tool Ask Photos, this process could get much easier.

Ask AI is powered by Gemini and is fine-tuned as a search engine. It can understand natural language prompts and can read and understand a large number of photos by their subject, background, and even digital information in the metadata. “With Ask Photos, you can ask for what you’re looking for in a natural way, like: “Show me the best photo from each national park I’ve visited.” Google Photos can show you what you need, saving you from all that scrolling,” the company said in a post.

Further, it can also answer questions based on this information. For example, a user can ask about the theme of an office party, and the AI will check the images and share the information. It can even tell the user the colour of the shirt they wore that day. The tech giant claims the AI tool can even perform tasks that go beyond searching and answering queries. The AI can also create a highlight of a recent trip by suggesting top pictures and writing personalised captions for each of them in case the user wants to share it on social media.

Google is also focusing on the privacy of users’ data. Since Ask Photos will be trained on users’ photo galleries, it has access to private and sensitive data. But the tech giant said this data will never be used for ads. The company will also not review these conversations and personal data in Ask Photos unless it addresses abuse and harm. The data will also not be used to train any AI product outside of Google Photos, the company said.

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