The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City
Google removes the AI Test Kitchen app from the Play Store without explaining. Reuters

In a surprising move, Google recently pulled the AI Test Kitchen app from the Play Store. While generative AI recently started garnering popularity among the general public, big tech companies like Google have been working on the technology for a while now.

Usually, only employees and developers test these advanced AI improvements. However, Google gave regular people the chance to try its AI projects through apps like AI Test Kitchen. Now, the search giant has removed the app from the Play Store and Apple App Store.

Google unveiled the AI Test Kitchen app last year

According to the folks at GizChina, it looks like Google is gearing up to shut down the AI Test Kitchen app without an explanation. The company released the AI Test Kitchen app after Google's I/O 2022 developer conference.

In addition to the AI app, Google showed off the second-gen LaMDA LLM (large language model) at the event. It is worth noting that the LaMDA LLM now powers Google's AI chatbot, Bard. The Test Kitchen app had three different applications that allowed people to try the LLM's capabilities in specific situations.

  • Imagine it: People could ask LaMDA to describe an imaginary place of their choice.
  • List It: The LLM was capable of further splitting a to-do list into smaller sub-tasks.
  • Talk About It (Dogs edition): In this demo, users could talk with the AI about dogs and dogs only, proving the AI's ability to stay on a particular topic without veering off-course.

These experiments allowed people to get an idea of the potential of the LaMDA language model. Google announced a slew of new experiments like MusicLM after this year's I/O event. Regrettably, a report from 9to5Google has confirmed that the tech behemoth has removed the AI Test Kitchen app from the Play Store.

This is quite surprising, given that Google has been sparing no effort to be at the forefront of the AI space lately. As part of its effort to surpass other AI companies, Google is reportedly prepping to transform its Assistant into a fully-fledged AI. Also, the company's online video-sharing platform YouTube is set to start using AI to auto-generate video summaries soon.

It is also worth mentioning that the AI Test Kitchen was less than a year old and AI technology is still gaining popularity. So, it is safe to say that Google's decision to remove the app from the Play Store was unanticipated. Nevertheless, the company had dropped a few hints about this upcoming move during the I/O event.

For instance, Google tried to guide users away from the Test Kitchen app by urging them to use the website to experience MusicLM. Moreover, MusicLM replaced all previously available experiments on the app. Still, details about the specific reason for removing the AI Test Kitchen from the App Store are scarce.

People who have the AI Test Kitchen app installed may have noticed that the app isn't working anymore. Even the latest version available on APKMirror has stopped working. Nevertheless, you can still access the Test Kitchen experience via the web app.

It is unclear when Google will discontinue the web app. In the meantime, the company has discontinued the app on Android, as well as iOS. However, Google is set to improve its SGE (Search Generative Experience) in a bid to give its huge user base something else to cheer about.

Google's AI search will start showing related videos

Google's AI-powered Search Generative Experience is slated to receive an awe-inspiring feature. Those who have enabled the AI-based SGE feature in Search Labs will start seeing more multimedia in the summary box, which is at the top of the search results.

Aside from trying to make the summary box appear faster, Google is also adding more context to the links it puts in the box. Notably, SGE is still in the experiment phase. "It really gives us a chance to, now, not always be constrained in the way search was working before," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Alphabet's most recent earnings call.

"It allows us to think outside the box." He went on to say that "over time, this will just be how search works."