As time passes and technology evolves, the ways in which we live inevitably shift with it. Think about the ritual of going out to eat in the internet age, for instance. It’s now habitual for many to peruse a restaurant’s menu before ever setting foot in it, look up reviews and social media posts to take the general temperature of the place, and even seek out pictures of the exact dish you might want, just to be sure it’ll deliver when it arrives in front of you.
It should then come as little surprise that Google Maps is now working to make sure that all of this information is accessible within moments, and centrally located. A new update will allow it to match other common sources like Yelp in offering up images of various dishes and curating suggestions depending on reviews and photos left by other diners. Its “machine learning,” which is not a phrase capable of sounding anything other than terrifying, will allow it to artificially make recommendations for items at searched restaurants based on what other diners have experienced. The short version: If a dish is popular at the noodle place around the corner, Google will know it, and show you some pictures to go along with their recommendation.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the process won’t be perfect right away; as TechCrunch notes, “machine learning typically improves a set of recommendations over time.” Some ridiculous things could happen before Google irons out all the fine code, but in any case, it’s an intriguing new addition that hopefully won’t be gamed by joke reviews or sent down a rapid spiral in the long run.