At its annual I/O Developer Conference this year, Google made a lot of announcements, most of which were related to AI. Besides announcing a new universal AI assistant and upgrades to its Gemini chatbot, the search giant unveiled AI-powered upgrades for a few of its existing services.

One of the most noteworthy ones among these is Google's plan to integrate Gemini into the Google Photos app, with the Ask Photos feature. The main purpose behind this is to make it easier for users to search through their photos library and locate the photos they want quickly.

What is Ask Photos and How Does It Work?

Ask Photos is an experimental feature being rolled out to Google Photos that uses Google's Gemini AI to provide information to users quickly. It is designed to make it easier to search for specific photos, helping save a lot of time and effort. For instance, you can ask it to show you the best photos of your vacation, and it will do so instantly.

Google Photos already lets you search for photos using specific terms, like 'license' to search for your driver's license. However, with the newly upgraded Gemini-powered capabilities, you can use more complex queries, such as 'photos from a swimming lesson'.

For such a query, Google Photos will search through the photos library and locate all the relevant photos, showing them to you quickly. In fact, you can even check your child's swimming progress over time by using Ask Photos in the same manner by providing it with a relevant question.

Source: Google I/O Keynote

This means you will no longer need to scroll through tons of photos when trying to find the right one. Just use Ask Photos and the app will show you the relevant photos.

Thanks to Gemini's multimodal capabilities, Google Photos will also understand different contexts better and provide relevant information. For instance, you can ask it to identify the theme of a birthday party from a photo, and it will do so by looking at and recognizing the decorations and other elements.

You can also use Ask Photos to create highlights of a specific event or day, and it will suggest which photos should be included in it. Similarly, Google Photos can now curate the best photos from a selection for sharing with others and suggest personalized captions.

How Does it Work? When you ask a question, Google Photos uses Gemini to comprehend the query before performing a detailed search. It identifies natural language concepts and relevant keywords while using aspects like blurriness, lighting, background distortion, etc, to look for the answer.

Once it has found the required information, it relies on Gemini to analyze it and craft a suitable response that matches the query accurately. If you correct an answer or provide the AI with additional information, it will retain that information for future use.

Ask Photos can seem like an extension of the Photo Stacks feature which was launched recently and groups near-identical photos together to identify the best one.

Are there any safeguards in place? Google has implemented certain safeguards that will prevent your Google Photos personal data from being used for advertisement purposes. Additionally, personal data and conversations are not reviewed, except in cases of abuse or harm.

Google will also not use the data to train other generative AI products, other than Google Photos, and the data is protected using industry-leading security measures.

When will Ask Photos be available? According to Google, Ask Photos will roll out to Google Photos users in English in the US sometime this summer, before becoming available in other regions. Also, at launch, it will only support text-based queries and work just like an AI chatbot.

Google is doubling down on its AI offerings, improving and expanding them while also upgrading its existing services. Google Photos is the next product that is getting the AI treatment, after workplace apps like Gmail and Google Drive. The app, which witnesses around six billion photos uploaded every day, is now easier to use than ever before thanks to the Ask Photos AI feature.

While we do not know when the feature will become available except during the summer, it shouldn't take too long. Hopefully, we'll know more in the coming weeks.