Google’s ongoing foray into generative AI extends to Google Maps in its latest update. However, there’s a caveat – these new functionalities are currently being introduced exclusively to a limited group of “select Local Guides” within the United States.
Google has indicated that the input and feedback from the selected group of Local Guides will play a pivotal role in refining this feature before it is made available to a broader audience, essentially making it akin to a closed beta at this stage.
The app now incorporates generative AI into Maps, assisting users in their quest to explore places tailored to their individual preferences and requirements. Users can simply describe their search criteria in everyday language, and Google’s language models will look through Maps’ extensive places database to find the right places for them.
According to one of the examples shown by Google, you could simply type a phrase like “places with a vintage vibe in San Francisco,” and in response, you’ll receive a wealth of information about nearby businesses and establishments. This comprehensive data will encompass photographs, ratings, and reviews contributed by the Maps community.
The results are categorized, accompanied by photo carousels, and supplemented with review summaries. These summaries are designed to shed light on why a particular place might pique your interest, all based on your initial query. What’s particularly convenient is that after your initial question, you can seamlessly continue the conversation with a follow-up inquiry without the need to reiterate any details.
For instance, in the previously mentioned example, you can effortlessly transition to a question like “How about lunch?” and receive tailored suggestions that align with the desired ambiance you initially indicated.
You have the option to bookmark all the recommended places generated through this method and easily share them with your friends. The possibilities are virtually limitless when it comes to the questions you can pose, which is what could potentially transform this into an incredibly valuable feature once it’s fine-tuned and made available to a wider audience.
That being said, there is currently no word on when this feature will become available to a wider audience.