Google wants a slice of the AI holiday shopping pie, too
After Microsoft and Mozilla, Google also announced how generative AI can help shoppers find the perfect holiday gifts. Some shoppers on Google may use AI to get gift ideas for the holiday season or any other occurrence. This sound very similar to Microsoft Shopping, which also uses AI to suggest gifts. It is only half of what Google announced, however.
Like Microsoft's implementation, Google's is using your initial input to come up with ideas that are based on it. A search for "great gifts for home cooks" could for instance suggest "great gifts for home cooks who love pasta" as one of the paths to explore further.
Google says that this new experience is "designed as a jumping-off point to explore the web". Google puts "links from publishers front and center" so that users can learn more about products easily. There are also more links to "a wider range of sources" according to Google.
One downside of the announced experience is that it is limited to Google users who are in the United States. The functionality is available in the official Google app for Android and iOS and also on Chrome for the desktop. Users who don't see it yet may enable it at http://goo.gle/sge-gifts.
More unique than that are the other improvements that Google highlighted. Both use AI image generation, but in different ways. The main idea of the first is to generate images from the description that a user provides to find real-world products. The image generator creates images based on the user's instructions. A click on these leads to real-world products that look similar to the creation. Google claims that it enables users to shop what is in their mind. They don't need to know a brand or exact product description, as AI helps with that.
If you always wanted a red and blue jacket with golden stripes and 9 pockets, now there is a chance to find out if that jacket exists in the real-world.
Another handy related feature is the option to see how clothes look like virtually. AI generates different body types to show how a piece of clothing looks like using different models. Users from the U.S. who search for "men's tops" should get the experience on any mobile browser and in the Google app. You can select any of the tops to see how these look like on different body types.
All three AI experiences are available in the U.S. only at the time. While some sound helpful, like seeing how a piece of clothing fits a specific body type, others, like gifts suggestions, sound generic. Some users may find these new features useful nevertheless, and if it helps them find a product or gift, then that is a good thing.
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