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Google may give Gboard on Android an AI text-to-image generator

The feature would be found in the shortcuts strip.

Published onFebruary 24, 2023

Gboard stock photo 4
  • Lines in the latest beta version of Gboard mention an “Imagen Keyboard.”
  • The Imagen Keyboard would allow users to generate images via text.
  • The feature may appear in the shortcuts strip or page.

Delivering AI products has been Google’s main focus this year as it fights off threats posed by ChatGPT and Microsoft. One of those upcoming products may be Imagen text-to-image integration in Gboard.

In a recent APK (Android Package Kit) teardown, conducted by 9to5Google, the latest beta version of Gboard — — contains lines of code that mention an “Imagen Keyboard.” According to the outlet, this Imagen feature would appear somewhere in the shortcuts strip or page, the same place where you would find Clipboard and One-handed mode.

It’s important to note that an APK teardown focuses on in-progress features. As such, there’s no guarantee that Google will roll out said features in the next update.

If you’re unfamiliar with Imagen, it’s similar to the popular text-to-image generator DALL-E 2 — which is owned by ChatGPT creator OpenAI. It’s capable of creating images based on the request you submit to it. However, in side-to-side comparisons, more people preferred Imagen’s results to DALL-E’s according to Google’s research.

In addition to this, Google reportedly has over 20 AI products in development right now. This includes a wallpaper maker that may be exclusive to Pixel phones and a tool that summarizes videos by generating a new one.

There’s also Google’s direct competitor to ChatGPT — Bard — that the company revealed earlier this month. However, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Google-branded AI chatbot. Bard ended up getting caught making a mistake in its first demo.