6 Google AI tools to help you find the perfect gift

I personally find Valentine’s Day to be one of the most daunting gift-giving holidays. I want to get something for my partner, of course, but I also like to let my friends and family (and even my dogs) know how much they’re loved. But it’s a tricky holiday: The perfect Valentine’s Day gift is sentimental but not saccharine-sweet. Genuinely useful but not overly practical. It has a personal touch — but could potentially be replicated for a friend or two (or three).

If you also need a little help, here are six AI-powered Google tools for finding the perfect gift.

1. Do your research with gen AI in Search

Don’t judge me, but I love my dogs more than anything and plan on giving them something this year beyond the treats or toys I might normally pick up — but I could use some extra help with ideas. That’s where Search Generative Experience (SGE), a generative AI experiment in Search Labs, comes in handy. It allows me to explore topics and get quick information , including ideas for shopping for moments like Valentine’s Day. I can search “Valentine’s Day gifts for my dog” to see categories and products to browse that fall under this concept — like heart-shaped dog treats or red and pink apparel for pups — plus links to learn more. I might even find unique ideas I might not have thought of, like a visit to a dog-friendly restaurant. To use gen AI in Search while you shop, opt-in to Search Labs in the Google app (Android and iOS) and on Chrome desktop.

2. Make sure to check for deals

I’ve been thinking about getting my sister, who is into meditation, something (budget-friendly!) to complement her new healthy habit, but I feel a bit overwhelmed with where to start. Thanks to the Shopping Graph – Google’s ML-powered data set of the world’s shopping information, including brands, products and of course, price — I can search “shop Valentine’s Day deals” and select the spa category to find a great gift while also keeping in mind my budget. For Valentine’s Day, shoppers will also find a deals destination, featuring thousands of Valentine’s gift ideas from brands across the web, all on sale. This experience is available to U.S. users on mobile, desktop and the Google app (Android and iOS).

3. Search (and shop) what you see with Google Lens

Google Lens is the ultimate companion tool when gift inspiration strikes. You might already know that Lens is a handy shopping feature that allows you to take a photo of something and find what it is and where to buy it or something similar. But there are a couple other ways it can work, too. For example, my mom loves getting flowers, so when I see some while out on a run I can quickly open the Google app (Android and iOS) and snap a pic with Lens to identify them. (Plus, using multisearch, I could even type in descriptive text to search for, say, similar flowers in a blue hue.) And since my husband and I like to go big on a fancy meal instead of exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day, if I see a pic of a pasta dinner we really loved while vacationing in Italy in my photo gallery, I can ask Lens to tell me more about what it was and help me find a restaurant near me that serves it.

4. Circle up with Circle to Search before you buy

I get tons of gift ideas when I’m scrolling social media that make me think of my friends and family — so if I happen to come across an image that happens to have the perfect dog bed in the background, I can use Circle to Search to help me find out more about it without leaving whatever app I’m using. All I have to do is simply circle, highlight or scribble that specific part of an item and Circle to Search can help me discover more about the item and even shop for it or similar items from a range of retailers without switching apps. Circle to Search is available on Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series.

5. Try AI-enhanced photo gifts

A picture is worth a thousand words — including, “Thank you so much, I love it!” While my first love language is sharing an elaborate meal, a close runner-up is photo gifts. I take a ton of photos with my Pixel 8 Pro, especially during special trips and important moments, and preserving those memories for my loved ones can make a thoughtful, affordable gift. Like the photo below that I took at Yosemite on a hiking trip with my husband, which I captured using the Tensor-powered Super Res Zoom feature. Or the one I took of the night sky with Night Sight (which also uses AI) during a yearly camping trip with my girlfriends. Whatever photos I end up using, I’ll also run them through AI editing features like Magic Eraser to get rid of unwanted objects or Photo Unblur to clean them up a bit before I print them.

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