Google I/O 2016 The journey to AI-first

During the annual developer conference Google I/O, there were a lot of announcements made. Here is a little recap of the news till now on some renewed existing products and a few interesting new products.

Renewed existing products
Author Andrew Smith once said: “People fear what they don’t understand”. When Amazon launched Echo in 2014 the reactions were skeptical and people found the idea of a device that is always listing on command in your home, creepy [1]. Over time Echo became popular. Excitingly, one of the announcements in Google I/O 2016 was Google Home, which has a lot of similarities with Echo. It is a speaker you can instruct to listen and to control your house or, as many describe it, as ‘the always-present version of Siri’ or another virtual assistant software [1]. Google Home can be seen as a digital conversational partner with which you can interact in a hands-free way and one that can assist you with obtaining any intelligence you desire [1].

The virtual assistant software has also been adapted into Google’s newest messaging platform introduced as Allo, which is more than just another chat program. Allo makes it possible to send automatic replies or provide extra information when required by using a pattern of text and picture recognition in the context [1].

Google’s DUO is a video chat which goes a step further by providing an extra feature ‘Knock Knock’, which allows the recipient to see a preview of the face-to-face chat call before accepting the call [1].

New products
The days of using an app easier and quicker have arrived. Introducing: Instant Apps, which allows you to use the app (or a part of the app) instantly without any installation and without worrying about enough storage on your phone [1].

And then there is the innovation presented as DayDream, that takes you closer to all your VR (virtual reality) dreams on a mobile device [1]. DayDream is a development platform for mobile VR in order to create VR experiences (YouTube – Google I/O Highlights).



Google I/O Highlight (2 minutes)

Interestingly, most of the features emphasize the essence of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The importance of AI increases as it provides features to understand the context in order to assist the user more effectively. This gives the virtual assistant software a whole new meaning. Virtual assistant is not merely considered as an application or a product, it has become a kernel of every application and product. With the growth of AI inside of virtual assistant the impossibilities are becoming more and more possible. According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai “20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches” [2]. Presently, by using Google products, we, as the users, are feeding AI with data, which allows AI to expand its potential beyond words. As Pichai points out, he is on a journey from “mobile-first to AI-first”, but meanwhile, “there are areas where we will be ahead, and there will be areas where someone points a way and we do it” [3].




Google I/O Keynote (almost 2 hours)


Sources:
[1] google io 2016 what you need to know from allo to daydream
[2] google reveals 20 percent queries voice queries
[3] googles ceo sums up his ai vision

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