AI chatbots have been taking over the internet. Samsung just unveiled Gauss AI for its Galaxy smartphones and Google hasn’t been shy about pushing AI into its products. Google Maps already has AI features but it’s also about to get its very own chatbot soon.
The development was reported by Android Authority, which spotted code hidden in the latest beta version of Google Maps for Android. The code in question mentions in-app conversations including a line that says “you’re talking with a chatbot”, which is a dead giveaway.
However, there is not much information about this chatbot just yet as only a few lines of code were spotted in the latest beta version. For that reason, it is unclear what form this chatbot will take, how it will work with Google Maps, and what it’s designed to do. But since it is meant to power a navigation app, we can expect it to answer questions related to travel and daily commute.
On that note, Android Authority speculates that this mysterious chatbot could be used for submitting reviews or comments on Google Maps through the Local Guides Program. This is because one of the lines in the leaked code says “thank you for your contribution”. It is also possible that the chatbot will pop up once users visit a place, asking for their review of the location.
Additionally, the chatbot could be for travel advice when going somewhere new. For instance, it could guide tourists on what places they should visit, where to stay, the best ways to travel around, and more. But since these features are quite similar to what Google Bard can already do (with Google Maps integration), perhaps the Maps chatbot will be capable of doing more.
It may also answer questions about opening and closing hours for businesses and other facilities, which is currently done by humans at the moment.
Regardless, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an AI chatbot inside Google Maps soon, but take this information with a grain of salt as Google is also infamous for canceling projects and discounting ongoing ones.