Google teases new AI-powered Google Lens trick in feisty ChatGPT counter-punch

Google teases new AI-powered Google Lens trick in feisty ChatGPT counter-punch

It’s another big week in artificial intelligence in a year that’s been full of them, and Google has teased a new AI feature coming to mobile devices just hours ahead of its Google I/O 2024 event – where we’re expecting some major announcements.

A social media post from Google shows someone asking their phone about what’s being shown through the camera. In this case, it’s people setting up the Google I/O stage, which the phone correctly identifies.

User and phone then go on to have a real-time chat about Google I/O 2024, complete with a transcription of the conversation on screen. We don’t get any more information than that, but it’s clearly teasing some of the upcoming reveals.

As far as we can tell, it looks like a mix of existing Google Lens and Google Gemini technologies, but with everything running instantly. Lens and Gemini can already analyze images, but studying real-time video feeds would be something new.

The AI people

It’s all very reminiscent of the multimodal features – mixing audio, text, and images – that OpenAI showed off with its own ChatGPT bot yesterday. ChatGPT now has a new AI model called GPT-4 Omni (GPT-4o), which makes all of this natural interaction even easier.

We’ve also seen the same kind of technology demoed on the Rabbit R1 AI device. The idea is that these AIs become less like boxes that you type text into, and more like synthetic people who can see, recognize, and talk.

Based on this teaser, it looks likely that this is the way the Google Gemini AI model and bot is going. While we can’t identify the smartphone in the video, it may be that these new features come to Pixel phones (like the new Google Pixel 8a) first.

All will be revealed later today, May 14: everything gets underway at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST, which is May 15 at 3am AEST. We’ve put together a guide to how to watch Google I/O 2024 online, and we’ll be reporting live from the event too.

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David Nield

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