Google will make fake AI products to help you find real gifts

Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) is behind a bunch of new shopping features that aim to help users find niche or otherwise unique products for a friend or themselves. These include using AI to generate gift ideas or fashion items you can then shop for. Google is also expanding virtual try-ons to men ahead of the holiday season.

Starting today, users in the US who have already opted into SGE via Search Labs will be presented with a selection of suggested subcategories when searching for gift ideas, alongside links to helpful content to learn more about a product or gift category. For example — searching for “great gifts for home cooks” will provide explorable subcategories like specialty tools, artisanal ingredients, culinary subscriptions, and cookery classes. Users can then tap on these subcategories to browse shoppable gift options and select a product to buy. It looks like a neat way to expand your horizons a little when purchasing gifts for someone with particular hobbies or interests that are unfamiliar to you.

Maybe this will make you think twice about grabbing some lame bodywash kit for that relative you don’t know very well.
Image: Google

But what if you can picture exactly what you want, but are struggling to find a real version to actually buy? An incoming capability for SGE has been designed to solve that issue by allowing users to generate photorealistic images using a text description of apparel they want — such as a “colorful, patterned puffer jacket” — and then find similar-looking real products to purchase online. Users can refine prompts to ensure the generated images match their exact requirements and then scroll down the page to see shoppable products with a visually similar style from the 35 billion listings in Google’s Shopping portal. Google says this new capability will start rolling out on mobile in the US for SGE users in December.

This could spare you from manually hunting through specific clothing websites trying to find the perfect jacket you’ve been picturing.
Image: Google

One final update that isn’t restricted to SGE users is a small expansion to Google’s AI-powered virtual try-on tool. Starting today, men’s tops from hundreds of brands like Abercrombie, Banana Republic, JCrew, and Under Armour will be available to use with the virtual try-on experience, allowing users to see what a shirt or sweater will look like on 40 models that range in skin tone, body shape, size, and height. This feature is currently limited to the Google app and mobile browsers in the US, though Google says it’s coming to desktop “soon.”

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