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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

How Google Search is changing for India: more emphasis on aesthetics, localised content, and being more "intuitive"

 New features for Indian users of Google Search include support for bilingual search results and multi-search in Hindi.

The company announced yesterday at its annual event in New Delhi that for Indian audiences, Google Search will focus more on visuals, videos, and content written in regional languages. To begin, Google is bringing its multi-search feature to India in English, and the following year, it will also be available in Hindi. Multi-search will soon be available in additional Indian languages.

Google Lens now supports multi-search, which lets users combine a visual image search with a text-based query. For instance, you can add text to a Google image search for a cloth pattern, such as "Find me a dress in that particular pattern."

"Multi-search is utilized in numerous ways," we observe. We discussed using Google Lens to locate a specific flower. However, what if I want to know where to purchase one? or how should it be cared for? Therefore, we are working on the "multi-search near me" feature in the United States and will bring it to India as well," stated Elizabeth Reid, Google's Vice President of Search.

She went on to say that it won't be easy to expand multi-search to other languages because Google needs to make sure the content it shows matches the query. She elaborated, "You have to take into account the quality of understanding the language as well as the capacity of search to join the images and display the underlying content."

In a market like India, where visual-based queries dominate, Google's focus on improving search results makes sense. Internationally, Google sees around 8 billion inquiries posed each month for its Focal point device. India also holds the lead in this particular category.

More importantly, Google sees multi-search as a way to provide more in-depth responses to other types of queries. Reid says that multi-search is also used by users to look for new foods, plants, and products.

The main app in India is also getting the "search in video" feature from Google. Global testing of the feature is currently underway. Now, a button that says "Search in Video" will appear next to a video result in the Google Search results for Indian users. Simply pressing that button allows a user to search for a specific point in the video by typing keywords.

You'll hear about people who went and looked at the video transcription to figure out where something was. Although you can move back and forth, it hurts. If you were listening to an earnings call, for instance, could you locate the places where they discussed this issue? Or if you're watching a professor's video and want to learn more about a specific topic, you can dig deeper into that section,” Reid explained, adding that this was one of the efforts to make information more accessible.

Google India's General Manager of Search, Puneesh Kumar, claims that the search engine uses the video's transcription to direct users to the exact location they sought, relying again on artificial intelligence to guarantee accuracy. In most cases, the transcription can be indexed in Search. But what happens if the keyword doesn't exactly match? It will be an equivalent. Search is designed to comprehend what I was looking for, albeit not the precise word. Therefore, that is where intelligence comes into play and what AI powers," Kumar stated.

One more change in list items is the developing accentuation on provincial substance, which is an India-first component. When a user conducts a search for any topic, Google will now begin to display results in addition to English in the region's native language. This will start with Hindi first, with Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali help to be included the approaching year.

The goal is to try to be as helpful as possible to the user. We will continue to enhance that experience by learning as we go. Kumar stated, "We are looking at expanding into other languages over time. We are launching it with Hindi." When it displays the results, Google claims that it will take into account signals such as a user's language preference and location.

The majority of people will gain from it. However, we are always working on providing an alternative. So that people could say, "I don't like it or it doesn't apply to me," he continued.

Google is also looking into ways to assist people with speech impairment who might not be able to communicate as well as others. It said that in 2023, a pilot version of its Project Relate, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help people with non-standard speech communicate using voice, would be available in Hindi. The pilot will be used to gather feedback on how to improve the technology, but there is no confirmation regarding when this will be made available to all such users.

Google demonstrated how it tested this with a user, Chandani Kumari, a woman who has this problem, at its launch event. In the video, Kumari communicated with others by using the Project Relate app, which translated her words into standard speech that others could understand.

Reid stressed that this would take some time when asked when the project would exit beta testing. A pilot usually teaches us a lot, usually a lot. You should make sure to adjust it when you release it at scale. The pilot might let us know we have a tad of work to do or we have a great deal of work to do before we send off," she added.

When asked about the future of Search and whether users can anticipate something like a "ChatGPT," Reid emphasized that while AI would make it more natural, Google was also aware of its responsibility. A lot of the AI-underlying technology was developed by Google first. We want to be creative and daring. She added, "But we also think it's essential to be responsible," and that responsibility would become increasingly important as AI advances.

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