Google is using AI to change how you shop

1687222333 230614115512 ai generated image google clothes.jpg
1687222333 230614115512 ai generated image google clothes.jpg


Google wants to make it easier for online shoppers to know how clothing will look on them before making a purchase.

The company on Wednesday announced a new virtual try-on feature that uses generative AI, the same technology underpinning a new crop of chatbots and image creation tools, to show clothes on a wide selection of body types.

With the feature, shoppers can see how an item would drape, fold, cling, stretch or form wrinkles and shadows on a diverse set of models in various poses, according to the company.

Google is also launching a feature that helps users find similar clothing pieces in different colors, patterns or styles, from merchants across the web, using a visual matching algorithm powered by AI.

Google's new virtual try-on feature uses generative AI to show clothes on a wide selection of body types. Although the models are real, the tool learned to match the shape of the shirt to the person in varying angles.

These efforts are part of Google’s bigger push to defend its search engine from the threat posed by a wave of new AI-powered tools in the wake of the viral success of ChatGPT. At the Google I/O developer conference last month, the company spent more than 90 minutes teasing a long list of AI announcements, including expanding access to its existing chatbot Bard and bringing new AI capabilities to Google Search.

Google said it developed the virtual try-on option using many pairs of images of more than 80 models standing forward and sideways, from sizes XS to XL, and with varying skin tones, body shapes and ethnic backgrounds. The AI-powered tool then learned to match the shape of certain shirts in those positions to generate realistic images of the person from all angles.

The feature will initially work with women’s tops from brands such as Anthropology, Loft, H&M and Everlane. Google said it will expand to men’s shirts in the future. Google also said the tool will get more precise over time.

Google isn’t the only e-commerce company blending generative AI into the shopping experience. Some companies such as Shopify and Instacart are using the technology to help inform customers’ shopping decisions. Amazon is experimenting with using artificial intelligence to sum up customer feedback about products on the site, with the potential to cut down on the time shoppers spend sifting through reviews before making a purchase. And eBay recently rolled out an AI tool to help sellers generate product listing descriptions.

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