I/O ’18 Shows Google’s Focus On AI

A great deal of new developments came to light during this week’s Google I/O developers’ conference, with many of the flashiest concerning Google Assistant.I/O '18 Shows Google's Focus On AI

The most headline-grabbing announcement was probably the revelation that singer and actor John Legend would lend his voice to Google’s AI assistant platform later this year. But it has already been updated with six new voices allowing for greater personalization for the end user, and Google has refined the synthetic speech technology of the platform to allow for more human-like speech patterns, including the ability to have something more like a conversation with Google Assistant, without the need to activate it with each new query by saying “Hey Google”.

Another big new development for Google Assistant is the news that it’s coming to Google Maps. This is probably one of the most-used apps in the world, though its capacity for voice interaction has so far been somewhat limited. Soon, though, it will facilitate all kinds of interaction with the integration of Google Assistant, allowing users to keep their hands on the wheel while asking for directions, dictating texts, queuing up music, and so on.

Other improvements include the ability to trigger multiple actions with a single, custom command, and a forthcoming feature called “Pretty Please” that is designed to encourage children to be polite in their interactions with Google Assistant, and, hopefully, everyone else. And Google has revealed that it aims to have Google Assistant in operation in 80 countries by the end of the year.

It all points to Google’s considerable focus on artificial intelligence technology, an area in which many of its rivals are also investing some serious R&D. The robot helpers envisioned for us decades ago haven’t arrived, but consumers are increasingly on disembodied AI systems for all kinds of everyday tasks, and as such there’s stronger incentive than ever for tech companies to get their own platforms deep into consumers’ device ecosystems.

Source: The Keyword