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Home / Features / What is Google Ask Photos? the new Google Photos AI search explained

What is Google Ask Photos? the new Google Photos AI search explained

Gemini-based AI search coming to Google Photos later in 2024

Google Ask Photos demo national parks

Google Photos is already one of the best ways to store your smartphone snaps; everyone gets 15GB of storage for free, and a slick search that can recognise people and animals as well as places. But it’s set to get even smarter in 2024, with a new Ask Photos feature.

Announced at Google I/O, Ask Photos is based on Google’s Gemini AI model. It massively expands Google Photos’ search abilities, using contextual info like how many times you’ve taken pictures of a particular person or object, and where you took them too.

One example shown off during the I/O keynote was asking for your car’s license plate – instead of just showing a bunch of random cars, it knows which car appears most often in your library, and which one is most often seen parked at your home. It also gives you a text summary as well as the images.

Google Ask Photos demo birthdays

Other examples include asking for a timeline of your child’s birthday party themes over the years, with a descriptive list along with the images themselves, and when your child had their first swimming lesson.

Google photos has been around for nine years now, and today sees six billion photo and video uploads every twenty-four hours. That’s a whole lot of data to train Gemini’s face and object detection algorithms. In terms of search accuracy, Google reckons Gemini will nail even the most complex of search queries.

Ask Photos is set to roll out later in 2024. It will work for videos as well as photos, with text and voice input options. It should be integrated into Google Photos, rather than its own separate app.

Right now it’s unclear if you’ll need a Google One subscription; features like Magic Eraser and Magic Editor were initially limited to subscribers only, before Google made them free to all users.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming