Google ramps up AI in search functions amid race with OpenAI 

Google will roll out new artificial intelligence (AI) features in search functions and other Google services as the company races with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI to stay on the cutting edge of AI technology.

Google’s AI Oversights, using its updated Gemini model, will be able to provide users with more thorough answers to questions — even queries asked through video, the company announced Tuesday at its annual developers conference.

Google’s AI updates, which were a focal point of the conference, came one day after OpenAI announced its GPT-4o during a live demonstration. The two companies have been leaders in the quickly evolving generative AI industry.  

Google’s head of search Liz Reid said the updates are a “glimpse of how we are reimagining search in the Gemini era.”

In one example, Google showed how through a single query a user could look at yoga studios in their area while also breaking down prices, reviews and distance in AI Oversights. The update uses multistep reasoning that has been added to the AI’s capabilities.  

Another example showed how a user could enter a query to find out why a record player is broken by taking a video of the broken machine, rather than describing the situation.  

In addition to the search updates, Google also unveiled its Project Astra, an AI agent that is powered by Gemini. In a demonstration, Google showed an employee walking through the DeepMind office in London as Project Astra identified items, equations and the office location through a phone’s camera lens.  

Google also announced updates to bring AI powered search into Android phones, including Gemini becoming the new AI assistant on Androids.  

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