Google takes the top two spots in this week's ZDNET Innovation Index

While it was arguably a big week for hardware innovations, none of them had any luck dethroning AI from the top spots in ZDNET's tech trends.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief

Google Maps has some exciting new innovations on the way for planning travel.


In a busy week of hardware and AI developments, Google shot to the top of ZDNET's Innovation Index, claiming the top two spots in our survey of the leading tech trends of the week. By pushing generative AI in search results and infusing its maps platform with new travel-planning features, Google grabbed the most votes from our panel.

ZDNET Innovation Index

Each week, ZDNET's editorial leaders narrow down the top 10 trends of the week, and then our panel votes to rank the top four. There were three hardware stories and another non-AI story among the top 10 this week, but none of them grabbed enough votes to make the final four. Our panel of journalists and analysts is always looking for the developments that are the most innovative and will have the biggest impact on the future. So far, that's meant that AI has dominated the leaderboard for the last four weeks. Here's the link to last week's report as an example.

This week's leading trends were:

  1. Google now shows AI overviews above search results for some users
  2. Google Maps introduces new features to become your travel assistant
  3. Microsoft integrates Copilot into Teams for AI-enhanced meetings
  4. Claude 3 LLM surpasses GPT-4 in latest rankings for effectiveness

The top vote-getter by a wide margin was Google's new experiment with placing a generative AI summary above traditional search results. That could have a huge impact on Google's business model and on sites like ZDNET that get lots of referrals from Google for its various pages. The next leading trend was the upgrade to Google Maps that is aimed at helping travelers find food and activities while playing tourist -- just in time for the summer travel season. 

Next came Microsoft's deployment of Copilot to help improve Teams meetings, following similar moves by Zoom. And finally, the root of all generative AI advancements -- the Large Language Model (LLM) -- got some love with Claude 3's surprising nod at being more effective than OpenAI's GPT-4.

That's a wrap for this week. Check back next week for the latest set of trends.

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