Google Maps using AI to highlight restaurant dishes

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Continuing with a theme we touched on just a day ago, Google Maps has added yet another enhancement that moves the popular navigation app deeper into territory that doesn’t really have much to do with helping direct you from Point A to Point B. In this case, Google has added a new feature to Maps that’s live now on Android (and which is coming to the iOS version in “the coming months) and involves the app using AI to spotlight the most popular dishes at restaurants.

In a company blog post today, Google Maps product manager Ronnie Falcon explained that this new feature is an outgrowth of the robust amount of information Maps already provides when it comes to restaurants. Things like how to get there, reviews and ratings and an assortment of photos. “But as you scan the menu, you’re probably wondering, ‘What’s good? Now Google Maps is making it easy to ‘dish-cover’ a restaurant’s most crowd-pleasing meals with a new popular dishes feature.”

Falcon explains that a machine learning algorithm matches dish names provided by Maps users with relevant photos and reviews. The result is a convenient arrangement of the most popular items from a particular restaurant, right at your fingertips within the app.

That means all you have to do is open Google Maps, search for a restaurant and you can instantly check out its most popular dishes in the restaurant’s overview tab. You can then take a deeper look at the menu and tap on popular dishes to explore reviews and photos — again, all from within Maps.

As we mentioned yesterday in our post about Google Maps now showing speed limits and speed cameras in 40+ cameras, today’s news continues a trend toward increasing and multi-faceted functionality within Google Maps. As Falcon explains, “From a redesigned Explore tab in Google Maps that helps you find things to do, group planning features that make it easier to coordinate with friends and family and now popular dishes, Google Maps is helping you get out and enjoy the world.”

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