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Google Infuses More AI into Search

Get ready for a “fully revamped, new search experience” in Google says Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. The boast came in the keynote address at Google’s annual developer’s conference in Mountain View here in Silicon Valley. Products include new AI chatbot technology called Project Astra, a “universal AI agent” that understands the context of a user’s environment. The claim came from Demis Hassabis, in charge of Google’s DeepMind AI unit.

New Standalone AI App

One may need artificial intelligence just to help them get around all that was announced. Pichai joked about some 120 references to AI in the keynote, then rolled the counter up one to make it 121. The CEO promised search loaded with Alphabet’s powerful AI model Gemini, claiming it to be “generative AI at the scale of human curiosity.” “AI overviews,” Pichai says, will provide responses that saves users from the task of clicking through various links. In addition, a new standalone Gemini app is being released, the competitor to rivals like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The app will include what’s called “Project Astra,” a technology Hassabis said can understand the context of a user’s environment. It will be able to do things like fetch and analyze photos from your camera roll on your device with a simple prompt.

Block off a couple of hours if you want to watch the keynote

With more than 100 changes announced, CEO Pichai said the single biggest change in search will be the AI “overviews” that will save people the laborious process of clicking through various links. This comes in the form of a new panel under queries that will summarize information from across the web. Other offerings include a $20-per-month plan for a premium Gemini subscription as well as something called Music AI Sandbox aimed at helping artists create music. Want more? The two-hour long keynote may be your best option for a more immersive take on what’s ahead:

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