Google has announced that it will use artificial intelligence (AI) and a machine learning (ML) model to automatically update opening hours and actual traffic information.
The goal of these initiatives is to provide users with more up-to-date information on neighborhood changes.
Harness the power of AI to gain more accurate insights
Although AI research began in the 1950s, it only started making breakthroughs in deep learning relatively recently. This is largely because machine learning advanced quite significantly after 2010.
“From my experience, I have seen that ML algorithms are no longer the bottlenecks. Granted, they’re far from perfect, and there’s a lot of work to be done, but that work is happening at breakneck speed,” said Edo Liberty, former head of Amazon’s AI lab and current CEO of Pinecone, a vector database for finding similarities, in a February 22 interview with Search Engine Journal.
Corresponding to the rise of big data, these advances allow AI to progress at an incredible speed.
Google uses AI to update store hours
COVID-19 has changed the way many businesses operate, including retailer and restaurant opening hours. To cope with these changes and improve search engine users, Google has developed a machine learning model that automatically identifies whether business hours are likely in error.
Once the incorrect hours are identified, Google instantly updates the business profile of the business with AI-generated predictions.
For example, a business may have a profile that says it’s closed on Mondays, but it hasn’t been updated in over a year.
If Google determines that its busiest hours are usually Monday evenings, it will recognize that the hours are likely out of date and update them automatically.
It also uses Street View imagery of the storefront to identify opening hours signs, while enlisting the help of local guides and business owners to verify forecasts.
Business owners are contacted using Google Duplexan AI system that lets people have natural conversations and perform real-world tasks with computers over the phone.
Google predicts that this technology will help it update the hours of more than 20 million businesses worldwide over the next six months.
ML updates real road conditions
Google also announced that it was experimenting with other ways to use images for AI and ML. From the United States, it is launching a third-party imaging pilot that will provide the most up-to-date speed limit information.
The goal of this technology is to improve driver safety and add details that can make driving more efficient. Google hopes to eventually add information about potholes, school zones, and construction.
Privacy focus remains high
This pilot project is designed with privacy as a key element. Reference images will only come from public roads. Partners will also have to blur identifying information, including faces and license plates.
Once Google receives an image, it blurs the photo again, which is then deleted after the maps update.
Featured image: Screenshot from blog.google/products/maps/, April 2022.
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Google Is Using AI To Automatically Update Some Business Information
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