Daily Management Review

With Home and Allo, Google Doubles Down on Artificial Intelligence


With Home and Allo, Google Doubles Down on Artificial Intelligence
Doubling down on artificial intelligence and machine learning as the keys to its future, Alphabet's Google Inc unveiled its answer to Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant along with new messaging and virtual reality products. The unveiling was done at Google’s annual I/O developer conference.
Along with the tabletop speaker appliance - Google Home, Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant was introduced by Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai.
A new messaging service that will compete with Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger products and feature a chatbot powered by the Google Assistant which has been named as Allo was also unveiled on the occasion by Pichai. When Allo is rolled out this summer, the application would also have end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp.
A virtual assistant called Alexa, a cloud-based system that controls the Echo speaker and responds to voice-controlled commands by users is used by Amazon's Echo. This has been a surprise hit from the company that has made other tech giants racing to match it.
In a feature that is similar to Alexa, Google Assistant can search the internet and adjust your schedule. However to be able to provide more intuitive results, Google Assistant can use images and other information unlike other applications in use, Pichai said.
"You can be in front of this structure in Chicago and ask Google who designed this and it will understand in this context that the name of that designer is Anish Kapoor," said Pichai, pointing toward a photo of Chicago's Cloud Gate sculpture.

With the ability of controlling televisions, thermostats and other products, Google Home, the Google Assistant merges with Chromecast and smart home devices. While not offering any specific release date or ay pricing indication for Google Home, the company said that it will be available later this year.
A virtual reality platform called Daydream designed to work with the Android mobile operating system was Google's another big announcement at the event that was held at an outdoor amphitheatre near Google's headquarters. According to Clay Bavor, Google's vice president of virtual reality, Daydream addresses latency and other issues affecting playback on smartphones.
Equipped with orientation sensors that help determine positioning in virtual environments and powered by a smooth, two-button controller, Google’s Bavor also announced the unveiling of a virtual reality headset to hit the markets soon.
While IT giant Apple has indicated its interest in VR technology, Facebook is also making a big push in virtual reality with its Oculus headset.
With the aim to enhance the audio to support virtual reality screening, the same division has also "rebuilt YouTube from the ground up", Bavor also said.
Daydream-ready phones would likely hit the market by autumn although Google did not offer any timetable on the VR headset.

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