Google is rolling out a capability on Maps that would let users connect with business profiles in the nearby locations, helping them with the opportunity to ask questions while looking for things to do and places to go or shop.
“You’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via ‘Business Profiles’ in the side menu, within the Google Maps app on both, Android as well as iOS devices,” Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager, Maps, Google wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.
For this feature to work as intended, if local businesses were available to accept messages from users, they could install the search-engine giant’s “My Business App” and enable messages.
“My Business App” is a free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, to escalate the growth of their ventures — much like Facebook “Pages”.
“As long as a local business has enabled messages, you’ll be able to connect with them in a tap. Just look for the ‘message’ button on Business Profiles on Google Search and Maps,” Tendulkar added.
Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation.
Google Research India will provide each team with funding and computational resources in addition to supporting the efforts with expertise in computer vision, natural language processing, and other deep learning techniques, the company said in a statement.
“We are increasingly seeing people apply AI to address big challenges. Therefore, we have made research in AI for Social Good one of the key focus areas of Google Research India — the AI lab we started in Bengaluru last year in September,” said Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Team, India.
Among the six projects are improving health information for high HIV/AIDS risk communities from team from IIT Delhi led by Tavpritesh Sethi, team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham and nonprofit Swasti.
Researchers from IIT Madras led by Balaraman Ravindran and nonprofit Armman will use AI to predict the risk of expectant mothers dropping out of healthcare programmes, to improve targeted interventions and increase positive healthcare outcomes for mothers and their babies.
The team from Singapore Management University led by Arunesh Sinha and nonprofit Khushibaby will apply AI to help ensure consistency in how healthcare information is captured and monitored.
Another team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham along with nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Trust will use AI to predict human-wildlife conflict in the state of Maharashtra to help inform data-driven policy making.
The team of Nanyang Technology University led by Bo An and nonprofit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & The Environment will apply AI to inform dam and barrage water releases, to help build early warning systems that minimise risk of disasters.
The last team from AI4Bharat and IIT Madras led by Mitesh Khapra and Pratyush Kumar along with nonprofit Storyweaver will build open-source input tools for underserved Indian languages to accelerate publishing of openly licensed content.
“We look forward to supporting academic researchers, organisations and the broader community over the coming months and years to bring these projects to life,” said Milind Tambe, Director, AI for Social Good, Google Research Team, India.