In this age of digital assistants, the web giant’s Google Now was one of the best out in the market — but still pretty much native. Bettering the same, Google announced at its I/O today, a new virtual assistant, ‘Google Assistant’ with a massive update in features when compared to Google Now.
Google I/O, this year, started off with an amazing and surprising line of events. Not only did we get to see the annual event at a new venue at Mountain View, but we saw the company show of music in a way no one could’ve imagine. But that was just the start. The main course of announcements was still to take its toll.
And what better to start with than an update to Google’s amazing digital voice assistant.
Sundar Pichai took to the stage and demo’ed the new features of Assistant. At first glance, it might not seem like the upgrades are significant, but looking deeper you’ll see how much Google Now has grown. The voice assistant can now answer follow-up questions, keeping previous questions in perspective.
Pichai said that Assistant can also answer complex questions. Answers are also supposed to be much better and much clearer. The interface has also been revamped to resemble a chat app UI. In fact, Pichai believes that the new features will help users have much better conversations with the company’s voice assistant.
The brand’s Artificial Intelligence technology has always amazed us. Just a few months ago, the company’s AlphaGo from the DeepMind research division beat top-ranked Go player Lee Sedol. But we never saw the company actually send out an all out digital assistant. And while many may argue that Google Now was an alternative to other digital assistants, it still didn’t have an apt conversation-like feel until now.
Google Assistant’s functionalities are not just limited to mobile, but you can access the new assistant over a large spectrum of devices and interfaces. In essence, the whole app is like a combination between various different digital services like Facebook’s messenger bots conversation features, Alexa’s voice interface and the power of Google’s basic Search.
The only problem Google could possibly face, will be monetizing the app. The new conversational view changes the whole game as most people will keep talking their device without much clicking, that is essentially the money-maker in the app. This leads to the fact that Google will have to come up with a new way to integrate ads into the app. But that’s something Google has been doing for ages and will surely get around.
Google Assistant, in many ways, now directly outshines the likes of Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Hound.