The following includes things that we found most applicable to business owners!
We hope this article is helpful to less tech-savvy business owners that still want to stay up to date with the latest trends in tech. This is based purely on the opinion of Lead Nerds and how we see the implications of these new additions for the future.
Google Docs Auto-Summary
Google is introducing a new auto summarization feature for Google Docs, which will soon be accessible. The new feature, which will be powered by machine learning, will break down important points from a document and produce a comprehensible briefing. This is kind of like getting the ability to make Cliff’s Notes for all of your reports. Google originally announced the feature in March, but now it is closer to reaching the public for access.
We see this as a benefit to small businesses that use Google Docs and can be used as an alternative to scanning and making sure you are reading the correct document.
One of the questions I would have for Google is how will this information be safeguarded? We are not sure how true Machine Learning can work without a large sample set of data. There are two options here to make this possible.
- Businesses opt in to allow their documents to be open to a larger subset of other publicly available documents that Google can scan and learn from.
- Businesses will need to have uploaded a large enough data set of papers for Google to be able to generate summaries from these documents. This will require training the Machine as well. “Training” in Machine Learning basically means to tell the Machine if the suggestion was right or wrong.
You see this type of technology applied in auto-suggestions. The reason why auto-suggestions work so well is that they have such a large group of people that have opted into this program. For example, Google is able to read your data, because you have allowed it by opting into a feature. This would be the same case with auto summarization.
The second question we would have is, what type of documents will this be able to summarize? We think it will be able to work on general papers, such as business reports. However, we a’re not sure if it will work with more technical papers. This is something that Google will need to clarify before release.
Interesting Fact: 71% of Consumers Prefer Voice Search vs Typing
Despite the fact that more advanced features such as making online purchases or managing other smart home gadgets are possible, the most common applications for voice search capabilities remain simple. Users like to use voice searches to do basic tasks like check on the weather, play music, and set a reminder.
In India 30% of all Google Searches are made via Voice. We would like to know if this is more in depth searches that result in a conversion such as finding a place to eat, finding a repair shop, finding a product to purchase, or researching more about a topic.
One of the ways businesses can apply this to their business is by including FAQs in their website. You want to be the resource for others so that Google rewards you for those answers.
Advancements in Multisearch
Multisearch is already a feature that is a part of the Google app on Android or iOS, just tap the lens camera icon and either search one of your screenshots or snap a photo of the objects nearby to find out more information about (such as a dress, coffee cup, or really anything you can take a picture of) you would then, swipe up and tap the “+ Add to your search” button to add text.
Some additions to multisearch include incorporating “near me” features. This is VERY applicable for local businesses. Whether you are a grocery store, local bar, record store, all the way to a unique clothing boutique, etc. We strongly recommend you start preparing for this capability. Google’s push to help local businesses and push local purchase options alongside online alternatives is something we see increasing.
Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This means that helping consumers get products and services faster is going to be a huge push. What we love about new features is that it is an easy way to get a promotion because it is organic and odds are your competition has not caught on yet. That is unless they are following Lead Nerds as well so in that case we recommend you ACT FAST!
Because there is more…
The Multi Search feature will also let users search using text and images at the same time. This means that a customer could be at Walmart and take a picture of a shirt and say “find in green” it will then find a result that says that a dress just like that one is available at a store close to their location.
Augmented Results are coming. Before we go into this section we want to let you know we agree no one just substitutes a virtual experience for a physical one. We do not think you should live in a tech box, or really be using a cell phone for anything beyond a tool.
Anyways, AR (Augmented Reality) can be a great feature if used properly. There is no need to struggle to find the best-rated gluten-free pasta if you don’t have to… and that is exactly what Multi Search with Augmented Results will help accomplish. Imagine taking a picture or scanning the aisles of Publix or Whole Foods and having an Amazon-like experience with starred reviews about products. This way you can do your research faster at the store. Because let’s face it half the people standing in the middle of the aisle are just researching a product they have never heard of before.
We like this idea! We also think it will be really helpful for the more niche products compared to those that are mass market and give them the opportunity to get purchased if they have a rating presence on Google. Even if it is just a couple of reviews, people are more likely to try a product if they are not the first people to try it. However, people do love trying new products that they feel like they are “one of the first” to try. This is why positioning your product or offers as a borderline “Early Adopter” / “Early Majority” curve is so important!
Monk Skin Tone Scale
It’s important to see yourself reflected in the world around you, whether it’s in real life, in the media, or on the internet. There are numerous difficulties with image-based technologies and representation on the web, especially for people of color, because Google classifies individuals in a “non-traditional” way. Google has taken additional steps to improve the depiction of different skin tones across Google products, as evidenced by the launch of Real Tone for Pixel last year. This feature allowed improvement to the Pixel camera tuning models and algorithms to more accurately highlight the nuances of diverse skin tones with Real Tone software. Historically, camera technology has excluded people of color, especially those with darker skin tones. A lack of diverse testing means that today’s cameras can carry that same bias, delivering unflattering photos for people of color. This feature allowed photos taken with the Google Pixel to be more equitable for people of color.
This year they have introduced Monk Skin Tone Scale.
They are collaborating with Harvard professor and sociologist Dr. Ellis Monk to develop a new skin tone scale that is more inclusive of the spectrum of skin tones that we encounter in our culture. For more than 10 years, Dr. Monk has been researching how skin tone and colorism influence people’s lives.
The MST Scale will assist the entire technology sector in generating more representative data to train, assess, and evaluate AI algorithms for fairness, resulting in features and goods that are more appropriate for everyone — of all skin tones.
This functionality is designed to improve skin tone representation in Search. For example, now when a person searches for makeup-related queries in Google Images, they will see an option to refine their results by skin tone. If they’re searching for “everyday eyeshadow” or “bridal makeup looks,” they’ll be able to find ones that are more applicable to their needs.
We love this update because it promotes diversity and is also a great opportunity for businesses that encourage diversity in photo shoots of personal products to be highlighted.