Key Takeaways

  • Google is integrating AI into Google Maps to help users find places in a more natural conversation style.
  • The AI features in Google Maps will use data from over 250 million places and insights from over 300 million contributors.
  • The new generative AI feature in Google Maps will be made available to everyone in the near future, starting with select Local Guides in the US.

Google has slowly been adding AI to all of its services over the past few months. It started with Bard, Google’s own AI chatbot, and now the company has expanded its AI features to Search and, more recently, Google Chrome. Today, the Search Engine giant announced that it is integrating AI into its highly-used Google Maps service. Google says the new generative AI feature in Maps will help users find places in a more natural conversation style.

With the latest update to Google Maps, you can simply ask for the place you want, even if it’s very specific. Google Maps will use data from over 250 million places and insights from over 300 million contributors to provide you with the right information. For now, this feature is only available in the US and only to the select Local Guides of Maps community, but the company plans to bring it to everyone in the near future.


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How the new generative AI feature in Google Maps works

So, how does this work? In the example Google showed, you can simply ask Maps to show “places with a vintage vibe in SF” and it will bring up relevant places like vinyl record stores, clothing stores, flea markets, and other high-level categories. The service will even allow for follow-up questions. For example, you’ll be able to ask “how about lunch,” and Maps will show places that match your initial request.

This feature would’ve been so useful when I was on a recent trip to Sri Lanka. My family wanted to enjoy the beautiful sunset by a beachside café. However, we couldn’t pinpoint the exact place using Maps. As we were browsing on Google and trying to decide, we ran out of time and missed the sunset. Google’s newly announced AI feature could have been a game-changer at that moment.

For now, the feature is only available to a select few active Google Maps community members in the US, but Google plans to make it available to everyone very soon. In fact, in its release, Google says it is only the “beginning of how [it’s] supercharging Maps with generative AI.”

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