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How to use Google like the Super Bowl commercial did

Super Bowl Sunday is a time for family gatherings, great food and heated debates over whether the other team cheated or not. But one thing everyone can agree on? The advertisements get crazier every year.

Just a few short years ago, we saw the rise of the infamous “PuppyMonkeyBaby.” Missed it? Check out the bizarre commercial here. This year, we saw an extended campaign where Mr. Peanut sacrificed his life and reincarnated somehow. Next year, all bets are off.

Maybe Mr. Clean and the Mucinex Man will go head-to-head in a boxing match? Tap or click to see 10 strange Super Bowl facts you never knew. But all that aside, this year one ad made a huge impact across America.

Google showed how one man used the power of Google’s search engine to cope with the loss of his wife. If you felt inspired to do what he did, we’ll show you how.

Loretta: How Google brought a human touch to its search engine

For Super Bowl LIV, Google was one of several advertisers to run a premium clip during half time. Rather than touting the company’s technological prowess, Google focused on how its software can be used by ordinary people to celebrate life and love.

Oh, Google. Way to play with our heartstrings.

Set against the search queries of an older gentleman, the commercial shows how Google’s voice assistant and search engine can come together to honor the memory of his lost wife.

In addition to being an emotional gut-punch, the ad also displays some neat tricks you can do with Google. But people across social media are wondering whether these features are real. Can you actually do all the things in this ad?

Related: 5 things you didn’t know Google Assistant could do

Well, it turns out you can. Google Assistant’s features have grown tremendously since it first debuted, and updates to Google’s classic search engine allow for some queries you wouldn’t expect to be answered. Here are all the things from the “Loretta” commercial you can do in real life.

Photos + Google Assistant = Easy organization

Google via YouTube| YouTube.com

One of the first things you see in the ad is the narrator asking for “photos of Loretta.” Google Assistant then instantly pulls up a collage of nostalgic images from his past with his wife. This tech may seem like science fiction, but you can set it up for yourself with nothing more than your Google account and a computer.

You can teach Google the faces of your loved ones by tagging them in Google Photos. To get started, visit photos.google.com and sign in with your account. If you don’t have any photos, you can click upload in the top right-hand corner near the search bar and transfer them from your computer.

Next, open a photo of your loved one and click on the “i” icon in the upper right corner. Under the label People, you’ll see the option to tag faces. Click this, then click on the face of the person you want Google to remember.

Once you’ve selected the face, click on the “+” button in the upper right-hand corner to add it. Google will automatically search for this face in other photos and group them together.

Keep in mind, it may take some time for Google to recognize the faces in your images. If you don’t see the People label immediately, close the photo and wait several minutes.

Once Google starts recognizing faces, you’ll be able to open the Google App from your Android or Nest device and ask to see photos of the person by name.

Search with natural language (no more robo-talk)

One of the coolest parts of the commercial was the narrator looking up aspects of his life when he was together with Loretta. In a key moment, he attempts to remember a place they visited but can’t quite recall the name. So he puts the following query in Google and instantly gets the answer he’s looking for.

The ability to search via natural speech has been a long-sought goal for Google. And now, it’s finally available. It requires no additional setup. Just pop a natural search query into Google or ask via Google Assistant and see what you find. It’s as easy as asking a question.

See what we mean?

Teach Google your favorites and remember what matters most

The most poignant part of the commercial was the narrator using Google Assistant as a memory aid. By asking Assistant to remember certain things, it was able to put together a digital profile of his life with Loretta. It even remembered “Casablanca” was their favorite movie.

All this is possible with the help of Google Assistant’s memory feature, which collects and compiles your requests as part of your Google activity. To start, activate Google Assistant or say “Ok, Google” to a compatible device and ask it to remember a detail in plain speech. For example:

“Remember that ‘Jurassic Park’ is my favorite movie.”

“Remember my keys are on the counter.”

“Remember I need to take TUMS before Taco Bell.”

To see how well Google Assistant learned, just ask about your topic of interest in plain speech. Ask it, “What was my favorite movie, again?” Or “Tell me where I put my keys.”

It’s an exciting feature, to be sure. But it can feel like a privacy headache if you’re giving Google tons of intimate details about your life. Thankfully, you can edit these queries and remove them at your leisure — something we’re sure the narrator won’t bother doing.

To delete any “remember” queries, follow these steps below:

  1. Open myactivity.google.com and log in with your account
  2. Tap Filter by date & product.
  3. Uncheck All Products and check Assistant.
  4. Find the thing you asked your Assistant to remember and tap or click Details. 
  5. In the top right corner, tap the three dot menu, click Delete, then Delete again to confirm. 

Some “remember” queries update elsewhere in your settings, too. To be certain everything is gone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap Settings, followed by More settings.
  3. Tap on the category of personal details you’d like to remove in the You tab.
  4. Find the personal detail you’d like to remove and delete it.

The advancements found in Google Assistant are impressive, to say the least. And it’s a rare occurrence to see a digital product work as advertised. As long as the privacy snaggles are taken care of, it won’t be too long before Google Assistant becomes one of the best ways to wax nostalgic.

“Ok Google, remember to tell our readers about your privacy issues so they can make an informed decision before using your services.”

Tap or click here to find out how to delete what Google knows about you.

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