Google Assistant, Wrapped In AI, Takes Center Stage

Google put artificial intelligence (AI) at the forefront at its annual developers’ conference Tuesday with Sundar Pichai, Google chief executive officer, opening the I/O event with examples of how Google wants to make meaningful change in the world using artificial intelligence (A.I.).

And while Pichai did not say that through the years the revenue gained from search engine advertising continue to make life-changing innovations in healthcare and make scientific discoveries possible, it's clear that search has become the cash cow to financially support major innovations in AI.

A new Android mobile operating system -- Android P, supported by AI-powered navigation suggestions in Google Maps -- was one of the innovations unveiled at Google's developer event. The operating system learns and adapts to the user’s patterns and personal preference, putting often used apps in the forefront. It also predicts the next action the user will take.

Google also announced changes to Google Assistant, which is now available on more than 500 million devices and in cars of more than 40 auto brands. The AI platform gained, which will support 30 languages by the end of 2018, new features to handle natural conversational tasks such as making hair appointments and restaurant reservations on behalf of a human.

In an example provided during the event, the Assistant asked to book a haircut for a client on May 3. When the person at the salon who scheduling the appointment responded with alternative times because the requested noon appointment wasn’t available, the AI assistant understood the nuances of the conversation and successfully consider the alternative times to make an appointment for the user, Lisa.

Google also said it will roll out its visual assistant on Android phones to serve up the information on a full screen. The experience will combine voice navigation with tools like food recipes, where the user receives video along with spoken step-by-step instructions. 

The feature will interact with smart home products, such as thermostats or apps like the Starbucks. Google’s visual assistant will arrive on iOS devices later this year.

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