Google introduces a new way to search

(CNN) — Google announced two new artificial intelligence tools on Thursday that it says will make searching for things online “radically more useful.”

Mobile users accessing Google on some Android phones will soon be able to circle or highlight items on their smartphone screens to reveal more information, and ask complex or subtle questions about an image or text.

Over the past year, the company has been quietly testing these tools to see how generative AI, the technology behind viral chatbots like ChatGPT, can make searches more personalized and intuitive.

The features were unveiled during Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this week and will come to the Galaxy S24 range of smartphones launching later this month. They will also launch some other high-end Android smartphones including the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro starting January 3.

The first feature, called Circle to Search, allows Android users to circle, tap, highlight or scribble on images, videos or text to get more information about what they see.

Additionally, starting Thursday, users will be able to point their mobile camera (or upload a photo or screenshot) and ask a question through the Google app to get information. Google gave the example of finding an unknown board game at a garage sale and asking the tool how to play it.

Over the past few years, Google has introduced changes to Search, such as the ability to perform voice searches or its Lens tool, which uses image recognition technology through smartphone cameras to learn more about the world around it.

Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence highlights the momentum the technology sector is experiencing as larger companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and others race to implement similar technologies.

“We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible,” the company said in a press release.


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