Google announced today that it will apply advances in AI, including a new technology called Uniform Multitask Model (MUM) to improve Google search. At company Search on At the event, the company demonstrated new features, including those that use MUM to better connect web searchers to the content they are looking for, while making web search more natural and intuitive.
One of the introduced functions is called “Things to know”, which is supposed to focus on making it easier for people to understand new topics they are looking for. This feature understands how people typically deal with various topics, and then shows web searchers the aspects of the topic that people are most likely to look at first.
For example, Google explained that if you search for “acrylic painting” it could suggest “things you should know,” like how to clean acrylic paint, and more. In this example, Google is able to identify over 350 different topics related to acrylic painting.
This feature will be rolled out in the coming months, but Google notes that the use of MUM will also expand it in the future to help web users get even deeper insights into the subject beyond what they might be after have been looking for – such as “How to make acrylic”. Painting with household items. “
The company is also developing new ways to help web users refine and expand their search without having to start over with a new query.
To continue with the acrylic painting example, Google may offer to connect you to information about specific painting techniques, such as pouring puddles or art classes, that you could take. You can then zoom in on any of these other topics to display a visually-rich page of search results and ideas from across the web, including articles, pictures, videos, and more.
These pages are apparently intended to compete better with Pinterest, as they can also help people get inspiration from searches – much like how Pinterest’s image-heavy bulletin board aims to put people’s visual inspiration into action – like visiting a website or to make an online purchase.
Google says the pages are useful for searches where users are “looking for inspiration” like “Halloween decorating ideas” or “Indoor vertical garden ideas” or other ideas to try out. This feature can be tried out on mobile devices today.
Google is also updating video search. The company is already using AI to identify key moments in a video. Now it goes even further with the introduction of a feature that identifies the topics in a video – even if the topic isn’t explicitly mentioned in the video – and then provides links that allow users to dig deeper and learn more.
That said, when you watch a YouTube video, MUM is used to understand what the video is about and to provide suggestions. In one example, a video about macaroni penguins can alert users to a number of related videos, such as those talking about how macaroni penguins find family members and navigate predators. MUM can identify these terms to search for, even if they are not explicitly mentioned in the video.
This function will be introduced in a first version in the YouTube search in the coming weeks and will be updated with further visual improvements in the coming months, says Google.
This change could also help increase search traffic on Google by taking advantage of YouTube’s sizeable reach. Many Generation Z users are already looking for online content differently than older generations, Studies have found out. They usually use multiple social media channels, have a mobile-first mindset and deal with video content. A “Think with Google” study, found, for example, that 85% of Generation Z teenagers regularly use YouTube to find content, while 80% said YouTube videos were successful in teaching them something. Had other dates shown Generation Z prefers to use videos to find out about new ideas and products, not text, native ads or other content formats.
This type of addition may be needed for Google as the move to mobile devices is affecting its dominance in search. There are many mobile shopping searches performed today start now on amazon. When iPhone users need to do something specific on their phone, they often turn to Siri, Spotlight, the App Store, or a native app for help.
Google today too revealed how it uses the MUM technology to improve visual search with Google Lens.