Google’s unveiled its big bet on artificial intelligence (AI) at its developer I/O conference on Wednesday, sending shares of its parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) (GOOGL) about 4% higher in intra-day trading.

Key Takeaways

  • Google will expand Bard into 180 countries with more than 40 languages.
  • The company announced the coming Pixel 7a, and Android 14 operating system.
  • Immersive view map improvements and AI-driven photo editing were also announced.

Google’s Bard chatbot got the bulk of the attention at the conference, with immediate support for the Korean and Japanese languages. The company said it would soon roll out the AI competitor to Microsoft’s (MSFT) ChatGPT in more than 180 countries and 40 languages. The company announced the launch of PaLM 2, which is its newest large language model (LLM) and will be the driver of the new AI features announced.

Google said it is working with Adobe (ADBE) to allow the chatbot to create images from language descriptions. The company added Bard will now be integrated into its productivity apps, such as Sheets and Slides.

The day before, Engadget provided a preview of Google’s Search Generative Experience, which will rival Bing’s new search engine. Google also announced the launch of its Pixel tablet a day ahead of the developer conference and the company revealed more details on its Pixel 7a handset at I/O 2023 which Media Peanut leaked.

Google Map Routes Get Immersive, Photo Editing Goes AI

Google Maps is set to build on its Immersive View format launched last year, which will provide users with a more detailed view when they look for directions in selected cities. Immersive view will allow users to see details on traffic, weather, bike lanes, and parking.

Google will integrate AI, real-time data, and historical trends to predict the potential for traffic congestion and will include the weather in the visualization. The new features will be rolled out initially in 15 cities, with Las Vegas, Miami, and Seattle among the seven U.S. cities included.

Another new feature highlighted was Magic Editor, which uses its AI technology to make photo edits without the need for complicated tools. Google shared examples of the tool, where AI technology can be used to move, insert or delete objects in a photo and alter the color of backgrounds, etc.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, recently beat analyst estimates for its first-quarter revenue. However, the company has still been struggling in a macroeconomic environment where ad spending is reduced. Advertising revenue at Google fell 5% while sales from Youtube ads dropped to $6.69 billion from $6.86 billion from a year ago. The share price was boosted after the board approved a $70 billion stock buyback program.

Not everyone is convinced by Google’s rush to compete with Microsoft in an AI arms race. A recent article from the Verge said Bard, “compares poorly to rivals, and insider reports have portrayed a company in panic and disarray.”

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