What you need to know
- Google is testing what it calls an 'AI support assistant' in beta on a few of its support pages.
- The assistant uses a large language model (LLM) to answer user questions, either through custom text entry or selecting pre-set options.
- In our testing, the assistant is good at providing sources for its answers, but unsurprisingly struggles with any sort of recent changes.
As part of its far-reaching efforts to ship artificial intelligence throughout its products and services, Google is testing a new "AI support assistant." The feature was first spotted by 9to5Google and is now available in beta on a few support pages for some Google services. However, the tool is far from available to everyone.
The chatbot can be found on select Google Help pages, including Google Play and Google Maps. While most of the dialogs only let you choose from pre-set questions, the one on the Google Play support page will let you enter custom questions. However, you'll find mixed results when interacting with the new AI support assistant.
That's because, like other tools based on large language models (LLMs), this chatbot will have accuracy issues. "Help guide may show inaccurate results," a warning states. "Human reviewers may process your help guide conversations for quality purposes."
Amidst competition with LLMs from Meta and OpenAI, one area where Google has stood out is in terms of providing sources. Some chatbots answer questions without giving users any idea of where their answers came from. Google's AI support assistant can provide sources for its answers, making it easy to fact-check to ensure you've gotten the right answer.
LLMs don't do too well with recent information since they work by parsing a training model for information based on the user's query. Still, the assistant was able to answer my question about whether or not the Play Store lets you redeem points for discounts on Pixel devices, even if it didn't specifically mention the recent Play Points promotion for the Pixel 8 phones.
Aside from viewing sources, you can also rate a response by leaving a thumbs up or a thumbs down. This will help Google figure out whether the AI assistant was helpful or not.
Right now, Google's AI support assistant isn't a replacement for existing support options, but it's still in beta testing. Users still have access to other support options, like full support documents, chat support, and phone support.
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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.