Google Photos is getting a very clever upgrade and it’s coming to your phone soon

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Google Photos is one of the world’s most popular apps for good reason – it is an excellent app for saving, organising, and searching our increasingly large photo and video collections. Thanks to Google’s clever tech, we’ve been able to search within the app using text for some time to find the photos we are looking for. But soon, Google is bringing a big update to Google Photos that looks like it’ll make the app even cleverer when it comes to finding those precious memories.

The new feature is called ‘Ask Photos’ and Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced it live on stage at Google I/O, the Silicon Valley giant’s annual conference where it shows off all its newest tech. You will be able to search through all your images and videos by using voice and text prompts.

Ask Photos is a new way to interact with Google Photos that uses artificial intelligence – namely Google’s Gemini AI – to let you have conversations with the app using text or voice input. Pichai said you could, for example, ask Google Photos “what’s my licence plate number again?” and it will surface the correct one in text, not just the photo that it’s pulled it from. Google is using umpteen different data points from your photo collection to determine which number plate photo is definitely your car.

Pichai said there are more than 6 billion photos uploaded to Google Photos every day, so there is more than enough data for Google Gemini to learn from. The CEO said you can have contextual question-based conversations with Google Photos to find what you want, and it appears on the screen like a familiar text bubble conversation.

“As people’s galleries grow, finding what you need can lead to scrolling through pages of photos and videos — even if you have the right combination of keywords,” Google said. “With Ask Photos, you can request what you’re looking for in a natural way, like: “Show me the best photo from each national park I’ve visited.” Google Photos can show you what you’re looking for, saving you from all that scrolling.”

You will also be able to ask Google Photos to do things such as create a highlight package of photos and videos after a trip you’ve taken, even adding captions and other details for you to review before sharing with family and friends.

Google claims no people within the company will ever review your conversations with Google Photos or any personal data that is shared using the Ask Photos feature “except in rare cases to address abuse or harm” – and it also said it won’t use your personal photos to train any of its other AI products, but it will be anonymously using your results from Ask Photos to train, well, Ask Photos.

Sharing your personal data with Google is what makes its products better, and it’s Google’s whole business model. Most of Google’s software products are free in exchange for you sharing your data with the company.

Ask Photos is coming to Google Photos “this summer, with more capabilities to come”, according to Pichai.

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