Google I/O is where the mountain-view giant opens its Pandora Box and everybody lets out gasps of admiration as super nerdy things pour out – things set to determine how we would interact with Google’s elaborate ecosystem in near future. This year, Google I/O was no different. Google once again introduced numerous things but at the heart of them all was its new artificial intelligence agent called “Google Assistant”.
What is Google Assistant?
Remember ‘Jarvis’? A highly advanced AI assistant from Iron Man flick which was created by Mr. Tony Stark to assist him in his everyday tasks. Well, Google Assistant is not as advanced as Jarvis, but somewhere down the line it aims to be just that. It is a digital assistance tool working on same principles, i.e. trying to imitate a human interaction, while simultaneously bestowing benefits of being digitally connected to all data Google has been indexing for decades. It is more of a Google Now 2.0 upgrade.
This new virtual assistance has artificial intelligence, but it is also capable of a meaningful two-way conversation.
“Think of the assistant, we think of it as a conversational assistant, we want users to have an ongoing two-way dialog,” says, Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
How is Google Assistant different from Google Now?
Google Now has always been an intriguing feature which, in my opinion, works better than Siri or Cortana. I often seek its help with Google searches and with other routine tasks like setting an alarm, adding reminders, opening an application.
Having said that, both Siri and Cortona integrate a “personality” component perhaps makes voice commands, which has been missing from Google Now repertory. Even though Google has once again decided against giving a human name to its new virtual assistants, it has made it more smarter. It can ask follow up questions and engage in two-way conversations.
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Personalized Answer from Bot is new Cool!
Google in its demonstration gave us a glimpse of what this Google Assistant can do and if we go by that experience it is certainly very cool indeed. Google demonstrated how Google Assistant can search “Italian restaurants” take a followed up question “What is the rating of the restaurant” and further make a reservation for you on your behalf without you having to pick up your phone.
In another example, Google Assistant was asked “who the director of a film like Gravity is” followed up with another question “what other movies has he or she directed” Google Assistant was able to recognize the context of follow-up question and returned correct answer.
Will Google Assistant Make A Difference To Us
Google has been betting big on Voice for years, and no one does Voice better than Google. From Android TV to Android Auto to Android wear – all recent Android extensions prefer Voice interaction via (Google Now). So it was quite logical of Google to develop it further to improve user experience.
This year, two new Google offerings – Allo and Google Home – rely on Google Assistant, in two very different ways. In the messaging app Allo, you can use Google Assistant to fetch all Google data, or command actions without ever leaving the app, while in Google Home, it is at the fore-front, silently sits on a distant corner of your living room unobtrusively and connecting you to all apps and services whenever you need them.
Google has laid the groundwork of how we interact with our devices in future. Overall, the biggest take away from Google Assistant is that it is going to make our lives easier.