During the recent Google I/O developer conference, some majors AI (Artificial Intelligence) breakthroughs have been demonstrated with style at the tech festival. Here is the selection of the top three most game changing innovations introduced by Google.
- Duplex call lets Google Assistant makes a phone call on your behalf to book a restaurant.
- Lens introduces visual search and VR integration directly into the phone camera available over 10 major mobile brands.
- Android P integrates AI and Virtual Assistant at it’s core, works better with gesture and focuses on digital wellbeing.
Allowing people to converse with machines is a long-standing dream of human-computer interaction. Duplex enables Google Assistant to actually ring up businesses like a hair salon or a restaurant to make an appointment for you. You don’t have to call yourself even if the pizzeria doesn’t have an online reservation system.
After the demo, the crowd was shocked, but the most impressive thing was that the person on the receiving end of the call didn’t seem to suspect they were talking to an AI. The Turing test is successful as the machine has not been detected during the conversation. It’s a huge technological achievement for Google, but it also opens up ethical and social challenges. Should the AI agent introduce itself as a robot at the beginning of the call?
Much like voice, vision is a fundamental shift in computing and a multi-year journey. Google Lens is becoming a powerful visual search tool and open the way to this new way of searching by pointing your camera at objects. Incredible new features are being introduced to Google Lens including a new look and integration with the native camera application of the most popular smartphone brands. In a nutshell, Google is bringing three new features to its visual search application: Smart Text Selection, Style match and Real-time results.
Smart Text Selection
Users can now not only look at things in real-time but can also initiate actions with them. For example, Google Lens can now scan a page containing words and then let you copy and paste those text to paste in some other application. While scanning, Lens will also surface relevant information and photos.
The second feature is called Style Match which allows Lens to find similar objects and offer matching objects and not certainly the exact thing that they are viewing. It will come in handy for home decor or picking your next outfit.
Last but not least, one of the key feature is real-time results which means users no longer need to specifically select an item and wait for results to load. In addition, the results shown real-time are anchored to the object that you are looking as you move the camera’s viewfinder.
The next version of Google’s mobile operating system is here and called Android P. The core of the OS is packed with artificial intelligence and machine learning for a better user and context understanding. The integration of Google Assistant and Voice is done seamlessly in the background so your phone become more intuitive and proactive with actions. Google has introduced a digital wellbeing dashboard to prevent mobile abuse.
A smarter smartphone, with machine learning at the core
Android P makes your smartphone smarter, helping it learn from and adapt to you. Take battery life, for instance—Google partnered with DeepMind to build Adaptive Battery, which prioritises battery power only for the apps and services you use the most, to help you squeeze the most out of your battery. The look and feel of the graphic interface are lighter and simplified with soft edges and round corners. The access to the voice interface is also better integrated and a new way of navigation with gestures has been introduced.
Slice and actions
Machine learning powers two more additions in Android P: Slices and Actions. The first one predicts actions you’re about to perform and it will inject two buttons in the app drawer. For instance, if you’re about to text a friend, it might offer a quick shortcut you can tap on that will open up your default messaging app and jump straight to the contact. Other examples are re-ordering food through your favorite delivery app at a certain time of day.
Digital well being
Google wants to address digital addiction and introduce “Digital Wellbeing” features in Android P. It is not yet obvious to see if any of these will reshape our lives for the better.
There are two key components to Digital Wellbeing. An App Timer will let you set a limit for how long you can use an app. After you reach the limit, the app’s icon goes grayscale to remind you to adhere to your limit. There will also be a Dashboard where you can see the amount of time you spend in an app hourly and daily, which may be beneficial if you just want to keep track of what takes up most of your time. You may not want to see that you spent five consecutive hours on Facebook.
This edition of Google I/O was impressive with some amazing breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that will bring new services for consumers and businesses. It’s an opportunity for brands to create an engaging experience around their products and services specially with the power of the voice assistant and visual search.
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Author: Vlad Landau Head of Customer Experience, Voice & Vision at e-Business Institute. Research advanced brand experiences empowered by AI.