Home Tech Everything Google announced at I/O 2024

Everything Google announced at I/O 2024

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Google also showed off its new DJ mode in MusicFX, an AI music generator that allows musicians to generate song loops and samples based on prompts. (DJ mode was shown during the eccentric and charming performance by musician Mark Rebillet that led to the keynote of I/O).

An evolution in the search

From its humble beginnings as a search-focused company, Google remains the most prominent player in the search industry (despite some very good, slightly more private options). Google’s latest AI updates are a seismic shift for its core product.

New contextual recognition capabilities help Google Search deliver more relevant results.

Courtesy of Google

Some new capabilities include AI-organized search, which allows for better-presented and readable search results, as well as the ability to get better answers to longer queries and photo searches.

We also looked at AI Summaries, which are short summaries that combine information from multiple sources to answer the question you entered in the search box. These summaries appear at the top of the results, so you don’t even need to go to a website to get the answers you’re looking for. These summaries are already controversial, and publishers and websites fear that a Google search that answers questions without the user having to click on any links could spell doom for sites you already have to visit extreme lengths to appear in Google search results first. However, these newly improved AI overviews will be rolling out to everyone in the US starting today.

A new feature called Multi-Step Reasoning lets you find multiple layers of information about a topic when you search for things with some contextual depth. Google used trip planning as an example, showing how Maps search can help find hotels and establish transit itineraries. He then moved on to suggesting restaurants and helping with meal planning for the trip. You can deepen your search by looking for specific types of cuisine or vegetarian options. All of this information is presented to you in an organized way.

Advanced visual search in Lens.

Courtesy of Google

Lastly, we saw a quick demo of how users can rely on Google Lens to answer questions about anything they point their camera at. (Yes, this sounds similar to what Project Astra does, but these capabilities are being built into Lens in a slightly different way.) The demo showed a woman trying to get a “broken” turntable to work, but Google identified that the turntable arm simply needed an adjustment, and presented her with some video and text-based instruction options on how to do just that. She even correctly identified the make and model of the record player through the camera.

WIRED’s Lauren Goode spoke with Google’s head of search, Liz Reid, about all the AI ​​updates coming to Google Search and what they mean for the internet as a whole.

Protection and security

Scam detection in action.

Photography: Julian Chokkattu

One of the last notable things we saw at the presentation was a new scam detection feature for Android, which can listen to your phone calls and detect any language that sounds like something a scammer would use, such as asking you to transfer money to a different account. account. If it hears that you are being scammed, it will interrupt the call and prompt you on the screen to hang up. Google says the feature works on the device, so your phone calls don’t go to the cloud for analysis, making the feature more private. (Also see WIRED’s guide to protecting yourself and your loved ones from scam AI calls.)

Google has also expanded its SynthID Watermarking tool intended to distinguish media created with AI. This can help you detect misinformation, deepfakes, or phishing spam. The tool leaves an imperceptible watermark that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be detected by software that analyzes pixel-level data in an image. He New updates have expanded the feature to scan content in the Gemini app, on the web, and in Veo-generated videos. Google says it plans to release SynthID as an open source tool later this summer.

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