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Google Photos is getting a lot smarter this summer

Google Photos will soon be able to understand and answer your questions.

Published onMay 14, 2024

Google Photos Ask Photos
Google I/O
  •  Google’s developer conference showcased a major update for Google Photos called “Ask Photos.”
  • This feature allows users to ask questions in plain language, such as “What’s my license plate number?”

Google I/O hit the ground running today with a flurry of announcements. Living up to expectations, Google is bringing its powerful Gemini AI to even more apps and services. The first to benefit? Google Photos, with a user-friendly update designed to make managing and accessing your photos even more helpful.

Google Photos Ask Photos demo Google IO
Google I/O

Google has unveiled a significant AI boost to Google Photos today called “Ask Photos.” This feature allows users to interact with their photo library through natural language queries. During the presentation, a demonstration showcased how users could ask, “What’s my license plate number?” and the app would search through photos containing car license plates to identify the user’s specific plate.

This new Gemini-powered search experience promises a more intuitive and efficient way to find information within your photo library. Previously, Google Photos gave users basic search functionality, but it relied purely on keywords or specific date ranges.

By asking natural language questions, users can retrieve details such as the location of past camping trips or the expiration dates of vouchers. Gemini can analyze the content and context of photos to provide relevant answers, even identifying themes in pictures from past events like birthday parties.

The Ask Photos feature extends beyond search to assist with tasks like organizing and sharing photos. For instance, after a trip, users can ask the feature to curate a selection of the best pictures and even generate a personalized caption for social media.

With the rapid pace of advancements in Google’s AI endeavors, it’s fair to assume that the demos shown today were just a glimpse of the possibilities. I can already think of some great use cases like asking, “Where was this picture taken?” about a childhood vacation photo or “What’s the name of that restaurant from last month’s trip?”

It remains to be seen whether this functionality will be on-device or will need cloud processing. Google didn’t announce any specific rollout plans for the feature. As of now, Ask Photos is expected to roll out gradually as an experimental feature in the coming months, with additional functionality expected to be added over time.

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