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Google MUM (Multitask Unified Model) – First Multi-Model AI to Find Answers to Everyday Questions

Contributors: Chandala Takalkar
Published: October 11, 2021

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Envy that handbag of the random lady sitting next to you? Found yourself in a new town and don’t know where they serve the best coffee? Got a song stuck in your head? You know where to find answers – Google! ‘Google Search’ is the ultimate solution that has been serving humanity for two decades now. With its classic search features, Google has transformed our everyday lives. Taking it up a notch, Google is launching its one-of-a-kind AI feature – Google MUM. Multitask Unified Model aka Google MUM, is the newest addition to the Google Search engine.

MUM model in a Nutshell 

Google MUM or Multitask Unified Model is an algorithm created to search the internet across different languages, text, images and media to help users find answers to detailed questions. 

MUM is a transformer-based AI model that has been trained in images + text. This will revolutionize the way Google Search & Google Lens are used. 

MUM offers solutions beyond text, based on multimedia such as images, videos, and podcasts. The focus on multimedia means that users can get more specific with their queries instead of relying solely on SEO-friendly language and keywords. 

MUM algorithm in Detail 

The Google MUM algorithm is superior because it helps Google give unified results for complex searches. If a user has a complex query, Google will literally run the globe to find an answer that best suits the query. 

Pros of Google MUM 

  • 1000x more powerful than BERT Focused on multitasking with different elements – text, image and multimedia.
  • Not only provides exact information but also suggests related information (like FAQs) 
  • Integrates with Google Lens Provides an additional layout in SERP with the Things To Know column 
  • Removes language barriers 
  • Has the added feature of “Refine Search” and “Broaden Search” between the search results.

Making Multimodal Search Possible with MUM 

From text to speech, audio, visuals, the Google MUM update offers humanity a way to find things easily. 

It is described as one of the first AI models that is truly multimodal as it can simultaneously perceive information across multiple formats like texts, videos, and images. 

Not only does Google MUM understand the core intent of a complex query, it also allows you to modify your search and take you closer to what you actually want. Google MUM can understand and translate 75 different languages. 

Search in-store inventory from home 

A fan of casual window shopping? Google MUM will allow the user to know the availability of the product that you see on the screen. Just hover over the product and the user will get the details like availability of the product in nearest stores, the price, the store timings, related products, etc. And all of this from the comfort of your abode!

Shoppable Photos With Google Lens

Users will be able to snap a photo and ask a question using Google Lens (like finding a bag using an image of your friend’s bag!) Photos become shoppable items. 

For example: You like a friend’s necklace design in one of the old photos you are randomly skimming through. You fire up that photo in Google lens and the Google MUM update shows you similar necklace patterns from that image. But what if you want a bracelet with that necklace design imprinted on it? Bam! 

This is where Google MUM comes into the picture. Google’s MUM allows you to modify your search, add a text query related to a bracelet, mix and match the combination of your search and help you find what you are looking for. 

You will see results from nearby shops, large chains, and online retailers that sell bracelets with the similar necklace design you were looking for. Thus, Google MUM not only allows you to broaden your options but takes you closer to your exact search items. 

Window shop right from Search 

Aside from adding knowledge and simplifying the general search for a common user, Google MUM aims at making shopping an easier task for the user. Google will be introducing a new button that will enable the user to instantly shop the image they are looking at on the screen.

Google understands the three phases of an online shopper, which are – 

  • Inspiration 
  • Exploration 
  • Purchase 

Google Lens has been modified with Google MUM and thus, provides the buyer with an array of options to explore. 

Neural nets for Subtopics 

MUM breaks the language barrier and helps pull results from varied sites. Users also have the option to “refine this search” and “broaden this,” leading them to more useful answers. 

More than Before in SERP 

The latest Google MUM update offers better results with refined and broadened search results. Google MUM has expanded its search results to 75 different languages, text, images, and media to help users find answers to detailed questions.

More Insights About the Result 

Google is no longer limited to giving you a high-end shopping experience but brings the world closer by giving you access to endless knowledge. Before the Google MUM-embedded search engine, if you typed ‘pottery’ on Google, the search engine would have given you relevant pottery videos, the history of pottery, so on and so forth.

Here’s how Google MUM further adds knowledge to your search. If you are a beginner at pottery, you will see step-by-step instructions, the list of the apparatus required, etc. But if you are an expert in the field, Google MUM also anticipates that you would need more in-depth information about pottery, and so you would also find different techniques and new advancements in pottery technology. 

Along with this, you will find the usual relevant information like the famous blogs on pottery, famous pottery articles and artists, etc. 

The idea is to revolutionize the search page and compel the user to explore, think about new possibilities, generate opinions and get a better understanding of the search.

Advanced Video Information 

A large number of people heavily rely on Google to check facts and dig deeper into those facts. In order to make it easier for the user to check the credibility of the information, Google MUM will hence offer relevant video information about your query. This feature will enable users to dig deep. 

When will Google MUM be implemented? 

It’s Google and nobody really knows the answer to this question! It’s hard to predict whether the new solution will be introduced in a few months or a few years. At the moment, it’s being tested and refined. We can only speculate until we know that the work is finished. 

Even if Google announces the date of launching MUM, we can’t take it for granted. Google has numerously postponed the implementation of previously announced changes. 

But there’s no harm in readying yourself for the update: you can start by improving the quality and scale of your media content, integrate schema markup, and work on your knowledge graph – this ensures your audience gets the answers they are looking for! 

The idea behind Google MUM is to revolutionize the search page and compel the user to explore, think about new possibilities, generate opinions and get a better understanding of the search. And when your audience does run a search, creating MUM-friendly pages and content will ensure you will be found.

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About the Author


Chandala Takalkar is a young content marketer and creative with experience in content, copy, corporate communications, and design. A digital native, she has the ability to craft content and copy that suits the medium and connects. Prior to Team upGrowth, she worked as an English trainer. Her experience includes all forms of copy and content writing, from Social Media communication to email marketing.

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