Google Search is making an AI-powered leap

Google is using AI to make its search engine more conversational.


May 27, 2021

Last week, Google rolled out dozens of new releases during its I/O 2021 developer conference, including updates to Android and Workspace (e.g., Docs, Slides, Sheets).

But the real story is Google’s updates to its cash machine: Google Search.

For search junkies…

… here are 2 acronyms — meant to make Google Search more talkative and knowledgeable — that you should know about:

  • LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) allows AI bots to better mimic conversational dialogue.
  • MUM (Multitask Unified Model) gives AI a better understanding of the question being asked and the ability to string together complex search queries — AKA the AI knows what you’re really asking.

The 2 technologies are not yet ready for the public, but that didn’t stop Google from demonstrating their abilities by having Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai “talk” to the planet Pluto (anthropomorphism at its finest).

The future is conversations

The I/O demonstrations foreshadow a future Search that’s less type-in-a-query-and-get-a-list-of-results, and more chat friendly.

In Google’s own blog post, it demonstrates a hypothetical search to prepare for a hike to Mount Fuji. Instead of sifting through result pages and tweaking keywords, the AI just knows what information can help and delivers it conversationally.

How exactly? Don’t look at us. But anything’s better than accidentally clicking a search ad.

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