Google Photos got a surprise upgrade at the keynote session at the Google I/O 2024 event on Tuesday. The session, moderated by CEO Sundar Pichai, witnessed several big Artificial Intelligence (AI) announcements, including new upgrades for Gemini 1.5 Pro, new Google search features, the introduction of new AI models for images and video, and more others. Interestingly, the tech giant also unveiled Ask Photos, a new AI-powered smart chatbot for Google Photos that makes searching for a specific image in the library easier.

During the event, Pichai emphasized that the company is now creating a more powerful search experience across Google products using Gemini’s capabilities. One such example is Google Photos, which was one of the tech giant’s first platforms to get AI capabilities. Before the new updates, the AI ​​tools in Photos could only understand basic keywords and certain topics that could be used to find photos that users were looking for. However, with the latest Ask Photos smart search tool, this process can become much easier.

Ask AI is powered by Gemini and is fine-tuned as a search engine. It can understand natural language prompts and can read and understand a large number of photos by their subject, background and even digital information in the metadata. “With Ask Photos, you can ask for what you’re looking for in a natural way, like, ‘Show me the best photo of every national park I’ve visited.'” Google Photos can show you what you need, saving you all that scrolling,” the company said in a post.

It can also answer questions based on this information. For example, a user can ask about the theme of an office party and the AI ​​will check the images and share the information. It can even tell the user the color of the shirt he wore that day. The tech giant claims that the AI ​​tool can even perform tasks that go beyond searching and answering queries. AI can also create a highlight from a recent trip by suggesting top photos and writing custom captions for each one in case the user wants to share it on social media.

Google also focuses on user data privacy. Since Ask Photos will be trained on user photo galleries, it has access to private and sensitive data. But the tech giant said that data would never be used for ads. The Company will also not review these conversations and personal data on Ask Photos unless it relates to abuse and harm. The data also won’t be used to train any AI product outside of Google Photos, the company said.