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Google takes the next step in its AI evolution| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Last May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company uses artificial intelligence to reinvent all its products.

But because new generative AI technology posed risks, such as the spread of false information, Google was cautious about applying the technology to its search engine, which is used by more than two billion people and was responsible of $175 billion in revenue last year.

On Tuesday, at Google's annual conference in Mountain View, California, Pichai showed how the company's aggressive work in AI had finally reached the search engine. Starting this week, he said, American users will see a feature, AI Overviews, that generates information summaries on top of traditional search results. By the end of the year, more than one billion people will have access to technology.

AI Overviews is likely to increase concerns that web publishers will see less traffic from Google Search, putting More pressure on an industry. which has faltered due to differences with other technological platforms. On Google, users will see longer summaries about a topic, which could reduce the need to go to another website, although Google downplayed those concerns.

“Links included in AI Overviews get more clicks” from users than if they were presented as traditional search results, wrote Liz Reid, Google's vice president of search, in a blog post. “We will continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators.”

The company also unveiled a host of other initiatives, including a lightweight AI model, new chips and so-called agents that help users perform tasks, in an effort to gain the upper hand in an AI fight with Microsoft and OpenAI. the maker of ChatGPT. .

“We're in the early days of AI replatforming,” Pichai said Tuesday at Google's I/O developer conference. “We want everyone to benefit from what Gemini can do,” including developers, startups, and the general public.

When ChatGPT launched in late 2022, some tech industry experts considered it a serious threat to Google's search engine, the most popular way to get information online. Since then, Google has worked aggressively to regain its edge in AI, launching a family of technology called Gemini, which includes new AI models for developers and the chatbot for consumers. It also brought the technology to YouTube, Gmail and Docs, helping users create videos, emails and drafts with less effort.

Meanwhile, Google's tit-for-tat competition with OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, has continued. The day before the Google conference, OpenAI presented a new version of ChatGPT that looks more like a voice assistant.

(The New York Times defendant OpenAI and Microsoft in December for copyright infringement of news content related to AI systems).

At its event in Silicon Valley, Google showed how it would more deeply integrate AI into users' lives. He introduced Project Astra, an experiment to see how AI could act as an agent, vocally chatting with users and responding to images and videos. Some of the capabilities will be available to users of Google's Gemini chatbot later this year, Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, Google's artificial intelligence lab, wrote in a blog post.

DeepMind also introduced Gemini 1.5 Flash, an AI model designed to be fast and efficient but lighter than Gemini 1.5 Pro, the mid-tier model that Google implemented in many of its consumer services. Dr. Hassabis wrote that the new model was “highly capable” of reasoning and was good at summarizing information, chatting, and captioning images and videos.

The company announced another AI model, Veo, which generates high-definition videos based on simple text messages, similar to OpenAI's Sora system. Google said some creators could preview Veo and others could join a waiting list to access it. Later this year, the company hopes to bring some of Veo's capabilities to YouTube Shorts, the competitor to video platform TikTok, and other products.

Google also showed off the latest versions of its music generation tool, Lyria, and image generator, Image 3. In February, Google's Gemini chatbot came under fire from users on social media for refusing to generate images of white people and presenting inaccurate images of historical figures. The company said it would disable the ability to generate images of people until it fixed the problem.

In the past three months, more than a million users have signed up for Gemini Advanced, the version of Google's chatbot available for a $20 monthly subscription, the company said.

In the coming months, Google will add Gemini Live, which will give users a way to talk to the chatbot using voice commands. The chatbot will respond with natural-sounding voices, Google said, and users will be able to interrupt Gemini to ask clarifying questions. Later this year, users will be able to use their cameras to show Gemini Live the physical world around them and have conversations with the chatbot about it.

In addition to AI overviews, Google's search engine will feature AI-curated search results pages, with generated headlines highlighting different types of content. The feature will start with food and recipe results, and then be offered for shopping, travel and entertainment inquiries.

Reid, the head of search, said in an interview before the conference that she hoped the search updates would save users time because Google “can do more work for you.”

Pichai said he expected a large majority of people to interact with Gemini's AI technology through Google's search engine.

“We're going to make interacting with Gemini increasingly seamless for people,” Pichai said in a briefing before the conference.

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