Google Assistant Signals Shift to AI-Centric Computing, Pichai Says
As computing becomes universally available, the Google Assistant will give users an intelligent way of interacting with them, CEO Sundar Pichai says.The Google Assistant, formally released this week amid a slew of hardware offerings, is central to Google CEO Sundar Pichai's effort to align the company with what he sees as an epochal shift from mobile-centric to AI-centric computing. The Assistant is a voice-activated digital assistant similar to Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. It is an evolution of the existing Google Now technology and is the result of the considerable time and money the company has spent on machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies in recent years. The Assistant is designed to let users interact with Google using conversational speech in the home and outside it, with and without their smartphones and tablets. Unlike Google Now, which is present only on Android and iOS devices, the Assistant will be integrated into the company's smartphones, tablets, Google Home digital assistant device, messaging apps and other future hardware products. Google touts the Assistant as technology that is capable of understanding the meaning and the context of the queries and the instructions of those interacting with it, and is capable of responding in an intelligent and actionable manner. In addition to smarter web searches, the technology allows users to do things like controlling home entertainment and lighting systems, making reservations, navigating or pulling up information on local weather and news using voice commands.
"The last 10 years have been about building a world that is mobile-first, turning our phones into remote controls for our lives," Pichai said in announcing the new products today.