Google is reportedly going to unite existing and new machine learning (ML) features into a collection known as Google AI for Pixel. An anonymous insider recently spoke to Android Authority, spilling the beans on what the tech giant may have in store.

Before diving into the details, remember that this reporting of a potential update comes from a single screenshot of a menu. Not much is revealed, so the conclusions mentioned in the initial article are primarily speculation.

Regarding existing features, both Circle to Search, already available on Pixel and Galaxy smartphones, and Gemini, the brand's current AI assistant, will be moved under this new Google AI umbrella. The first new feature mentioned in the report is “Add Me,” which is described as a way to “make sure everyone’s included in a group photo.”

It’s unknown exactly what this means, but Android Authority theorizes this may be a revamped Best Take. If you’re unfamiliar, it's an AI tool that blends photographs together to ensure everyone looks their best and can help fix awkward shots. “Add Me” could be an upgrade as it may add the user to photographs they weren't originally part of.

“Studio” is the second new inclusion, and judging from the accompanying text, this is an AI image generator. Google has been working on image-generating models for some time now, and in February, the company launched ImageFX as one of its first forays into the tech. This could possibly be the mobile version that brings it to many more users. 

Screenshot scanning

The final ML feature, Screenshots, is arguably the most interesting of the bunch. According to the publication, the tool utilizes artificial intelligence to scour through on-device screenshots and provides information about them to help answer questions. 

That sounds very similar to Microsoft’s controversial Recall feature. In case you don’t know, Recall was a search tool that would record your activity on certain Copilot Plus PCs by taking constant screenshots. It was heavily criticized for being a privacy nightmare, and Microsoft has since pulled the tool

Google’s Screenshots differ from Recall because they're “more privacy-focused.” Instead of consistently recording, it only works on screenshots you take yourself. From there, the software inserts “extra metadata” into files like the names of apps and web links.

Pictures are then “processed by a local AI,” which can be used to look up specific images or answer questions about the content. Android Authority points out that it is a “better implementation of the idea than what Microsoft [had] created.”

Analysis: AI competition

It's possible Google is bringing everything under one name in order to better compete with rivals like Apple Intelligence and Moto AI. Smartphone manufacturers are injecting AI tech into their devices as a new way to stand out. Apple Intelligence is particularly interesting as it'll enable so much on Mac ecosystem when it launches later this year. It will, for example, summarize messages, generate emojis, and answer text prompts on the fly.

The Pixel series has similar abilities, but Google's AI services don't feel as united as Apple Intelligence. Plus, they are missing important tools like the image generator and screenshot scanner.

There is no word on whether or when the Google AI collection will be released, although the report claims it will roll out with the launch of the Pixel 9.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Pixel phones for 2024.

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