Google Photos is getting its own ‘Ask Photos’ assistant this summer

May 14, 2024
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Google Photos already has impressive search capabilities, but Google is using Gemini to dial those powers up to the next level. During today’s I/O keynote, CEO Sundar Pichai announced “Ask Photos,” a new feature coming this summer that should make the service much smarter when it comes to understanding what it is you’re looking for, using artificial intelligence to connect the dots for more sophisticated requests.

Pichai asked the app, “What’s my license plate number again?” Currently, searching for a license plate requires scrolling through photos of many different cars. But here, Google Photos was smart enough to figure out which vehicle was the intended one — based on location, how many times it has appeared in photos through the years, and other data — and came back with the actual number in a text response along with an image verifying it.

“Ask Photos can also help you search your memories in a deeper way,” he said, telling the app to “show me how Lucia’s swimming has progressed.” Gemini then collected a wide net of photos that summarized years’ worth of a child’s swimming lessons.

Pichai said Ask Photos will roll out to Google Photos sometime this summer — “with more capabilities to come.” To illustrate just how essential the service has become for millions of people, Google’s CEO said that Photos now receives 6 billion uploads (a mix of photos and videos) daily since launching “almost 9 years ago.” That’s a whole lot of memories on Google’s servers.

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