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Google now lets you search by combining images and words
Thusday, google (GOOG) rolled out a new search option which allows you to combine text and images in a single query. With this feature, you can search for a shirt similar to a photo, but type anything you want with “polka dots”, or take a photo of your couch and type “chair” to find similar ones.
The feature, which the company calls “multisearch” and previewed in September, is now available to US users in the Google Lens portion of Google’s mobile app. Liz Reid, vice president of Google Search, told CNN Business that the feature would be considered experimental at first. It is expected to initially be used for shopping-related searches, although it is not limited to such queries.

“This will only be the beginning,” Reid said.

Multisearch marks Google’s latest effort to make searching more flexible and less tied to words on a screen. Google has long offered an image search engine. There’s also Google Lens, a feature that debuted in 2017 that can identify objects in an image or immediately translate text as viewed through a phone’s camera lens. . Another attempt in 2020 gave users the option to hum to search for specific songs.

To find Multiple Search in Google’s mobile app, you need to tap a camera icon on the right side of the search bar, which displays Google Lens. You can take or upload a photo, then tap a small bar that has a plus sign and the phrase “add to your search”. This allows you to type in words to better explain what you want.

The feature basically works by using artificial intelligence in several ways. Computer vision infers what’s in the image while natural language processing determines the meaning of the words you type. These results are then put together to form an overall system, Reid said.

When Google introduced this type of search in September, the company explained that it would use a powerful machine learning tool called MUM (which stands for “unified multitasking model”) that it unveiled last May. Reid said in an interview last week that this won’t be the case initially, but that she may use MUM in the coming months, which she says will help improve the quality of research.

When asked if Google would eventually allow people to use search in even more varied ways, such as letting you combine music and words in a query to find new types of music you could find, Reid said the business was not working. on this particular topic, but he is interested in combining various contributions in the future.

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