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Gemini AI updates, new search features and more

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O developer conference. 

Andrej Sokolow | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Google on Tuesday hosted its annual I/O developer conference, and rolled out a range of artificial intelligence products, from new search and chat features to AI hardware for cloud customers. The announcements underscore the company’s focus on AI as it fends off competitors, such as OpenAI.

Many of the features or tools Google unveiled are only in testing or limited to developers, but they give an idea of how Google is thinking about AI and where it’s investing. Google makes money from AI by charging developers who use its models and from customers who pay for Gemini Advanced, its competitor to ChatGPT, which costs $19.99 per month and can help users summarize PDFs, Google Docs and more.

Tuesday’s announcements follow similar events held by its AI competitors. Earlier this month, Amazon-backed Anthropic announced its first-ever enterprise offering and a free iPhone app. Meanwhile, OpenAI on Monday launched a new AI model and desktop version of ChatGPT, along with a new user interface.

Here’s what Google announced.

Gemini AI updates

Google Veo, Imagen 3 and Audio Overviews

Google announced “Veo,” its latest model for generating high-definition video, and Imagen 3, its highest quality text-to-image model, which promises lifelike images and “fewer distracting visual artifacts than our prior models.”

The tools will be available for select creators on Monday and will come to Vertex AI, Google’s machine learning platform that lets developers train and deploy AI applications. Until then, there will be a waitlist.

The company also showcased “Audio Overviews,” the ability to generate audio discussions based on text input. For instance, if a user uploads a lesson plan, the chatbot can speak a summary of it. Or, if you ask for an example of a science problem in real life, it can do so through interactive audio.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai: We can do Google search a lot better with generative AI

New search features

Google is launching “AI Overviews” in Google Search on Monday in the U.S. AI overviews show a quick summary of answers to the most complex search questions, according to Liz Reid, head of Google Search. For example, if a user searches for the best way to clean leather boots, the results page may display an “AI Overview” at the top with a multi-step cleaning process, gleaned from information it synthesized from around the web.

The company said it plans to introduce assistant-like planning capabilities directly within search. it explained users will be able to search for something like, “‘Create a 3-day meal plan for a group that’s easy to prepare,’ and you’ll get a starting point with a wide range of recipes from across the web.”

As far as its progress to offer “multimodality,” or integrating more images and video within generative AI tools, Google said it will begin testing the ability for users to ask questions through video, such as filming a problem with a product they own, uploading it and asking the search engine to figure out the problem. In one example, Google showed someone filming a broken record player while asking why it wasn’t working. Google Search found the model of the record player and suggested that it could be malfunctioning because it wasn’t properly balanced.

Another new feature in testing called “AI Teammate” will integrate into a user’s Google Workspace. It can build a searchable collection of work from messages and email threads with more PDFs and documents. For instance, a founder-to-be could ask the AI Teammate, “Are we ready for launch?” and the assistant will provide an analysis and summary based on the information it can access in Gmail, Google Docs and other Workspace apps.

Project Astra

AI hardware

Watch CNBC's full interview with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai

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