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February 27, 2024

Google Unveils “Circle to Search” and AI-Powered Multisearch

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Jan 17, 2024

Google unveiled two major new AI-powered search capabilities at Samsung’s Galaxy unpacked event on January 17th, 2024. The new “Circle to Search” feature allows Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 users to search for anything by simply circling it on their screens. Meanwhile, an improved Google Lens “Multisearch” uses generative AI to provide richer, multi-modal search results.

Circle to Search Leverages On-Device AI

Circle to Search lets users search for items by drawing a circle around them directly on their screens (Engadget). Powered by Google’s Gemini AI framework, Circle to Search recognizes objects and text inside the circle and returns relevant search results instantly without needing to take a screenshot.

This intuitive gesture-based search feature leverages on-device AI to protect privacy by keeping data processing directly on users’ phones (The Verge). Circle to Search demonstrates Google’s continued push towards privacy-preserving AI capabilities.

Key Details Description
Supported Devices Samsung Galaxy S24, Pixel 8 and 8 Pro
Underlying Technology Gemini AI framework
Key Benefit Convenient hands-free search

Circle to Search significantly improves mobile search convenience. Users no longer need to take screenshots or switch between apps to visually search. Early hands-on reviews praise Circle to Search’s clever simplicity (Android Central).

Multisearch Gets Generative AI Upgrades

Google also announced upgrades to Lens Multisearch, first introduced in 2022. Users can now search with both images and text queries simultaneously. Powered by generative AI, Multisearch provides richer snippets, overviews and comparisons in search results (TechCrunch).

For example, searching “corgi vs husky” along with photos of both dogs generates a summary comparing the breeds. Multisearch results leverage LaMDA, Google’s conversational AI agent, to provide overviews combining text, images and data (The Verge). This significantly enhances traditional “10 blue links” search results.

Key Details Description
Supported Platforms Android and iOS apps
Underlying Technology LaMDA generative AI
Key Benefit Multi-modal search with rich results

Multisearch also benefits from Google’s advances in on-device processing. Sensitive search queries are processed directly on users’ devices before anonymized metadata gets sent to Google servers (TechCrunch). This protects privacy while enabling Google’s AI algorithms to continue improving.

Competitive Response to AI Innovation

These search innovations indicate Google aims to maintain leadership amid rising competition in AI-powered search. Smaller companies like You.com and Neeva have introduced visual search features, but Google’s vast computing resources give it an edge (Fast Company). Circle to Search and upgraded Multisearch leverage Google’s generative AI capabilities to significantly evolve search.

Chinese company Baidu also recently unveiled AI search upgrades. This indicates major tech companies see continued innovation in search experiences as key to future success.

With its ecosystem advantages, Google seems poised to maintain search dominance. But expect AI-powered search features to spread across apps and devices as technology continues advancing rapidly.

Broader Impacts Still Unclear

Google positions these launches as increasing search accessibility and convenience. However, commentators note broader societal impacts remain unclear as AI becomes deeply integrated into search (PCMag).

Issues like algorithmic bias, impacts on jobs and industries, privacy tradeoffs with improved AI, and responsible development of increasingly autonomous systems lack obvious solutions. Google’s dominance also raises competition and centralization concerns.

Nonetheless, Circle to Search and upgraded Multisearch represent impressive technological achievements poised to greatly impact mobile search. With Google planning to bring Circle to Search across Android by end of 2024, it seems likely these features will see rapid adoption (The Hindu). Other companies will respond with their own innovations as AI-powered search experiences keep evolving.

The long-term implications remain hard to predict. But in the near term, Google has firmly established itself at the forefront with today’s search breakthroughs.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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