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Google uses machine learning to pull your personal photos into search results

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Gallery Photo: Google+ redesign photos
Gallery Photo: Google+ redesign photos

Google wants to blur the lines between its newly revamped Google+ social network and the rest of its services. To that end, the company announced today it will bring users' Google+ photos to search results, both in Google's main search results page and in Google+ itself. It's part of the enhanced photos experience that launched last week at Google I/O.

The new feature rolls out today, and signed-in users can find their photos simply by typing in "my photos," which returns a grid of recent images on the search results page. But hidden behind the new functionality are new machine-learning algorithms, which will allow users to make detailed queries using natural language. "To make computers do the hard work for you, we've also begun using computer vision and machine learning to help recognize more general concepts in your photos such as sunsets, food and flowers," the company said in a blog post.

Google is betting big on photos to help transform Google+ into a daily habit for its 190 million monthly users. Personalized search results seem like an obvious, and welcome, first step.