Google announced today that it can now automatically update business hours of operation, phone numbers, and website information using information gathered from Google Maps.
While the new feature won’t replace human workers completely, it will help businesses update their details in an easy way that should make both customers and owners happy.
Here’s how the AI-powered tool works and what it could mean for your business—no coding required!
Harnessing The Power Of AI For More Accurate Information
Using a combination of their own business listings, their internal data and fresh imagery from Google Maps, Google has created an intelligent system that can make important updates about local businesses with little human intervention.
The key is understanding which information needs updating more than others; for example, if a business changes its hours or location, it’s important for users to see that change in as close to real time as possible. The same applies if a shop closes down completely.
Google Using AI To Update Business Hours
Google is developing a new artificial intelligence system that will update business listings automatically.
According to recent statements by Regina Dugan, a vice president at Google, we’re using computer vision techniques to analyze when buildings appear in Street View imagery and then automatically updating hours of operation data for businesses like restaurants and grocery stores.
Although it seems that only businesses with extended hours are being updated in their information on Google Maps, it can be assumed that time will change as these updates become more frequent.
Google Duplex, an AI system that allows users to conduct lifelike conversations and complete real-world tasks with computers over the phone, is used to call business owners.
Within the next six months, Google expects to use this technology to update the hours of more than 20 million businesses throughout the world.
ML Updates Real-World Road Conditions
Our system predicts road conditions using neural networks trained on aerial imagery, real-time camera data, and historical data.
Then we take those predictions and update traffic on Google Maps. For example, if a road is closed due to a landslide or an accident, our algorithms can automatically update it in real time.
We’re currently piloting ML updates in Indonesia and Malaysia where some 200 million people depend on their smartphones for accurate info about local businesses like restaurants and gas stations.
As more of us rely on our phones for information about our surroundings, it’s critical that we provide up-to-date information—and that means turning to machine learning. The next time you need directions somewhere new, you might just get them from your phone.
Emphasis On Privacy Remains High
Privacy is a major component of this pilot’s design. Only public roads will be used as a source of reference photographs. Identifiable information, such as faces and license plates, will also have to be blurred.
When Google receives an image, it blurs it again before deleting it once the maps have been updated.