How AI is driving Google from “finding answers” to “getting things done”
People at Google I/O 2019 conference witnessed the progress of ongoing AI journey of Alphabet Inc. Two years ago, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged their strategic shift from Mobile First to AI First in the same event. Little did anyone imagine the possible impact of Artificial Intelligence on Google’s platforms, products, and services at that time.
“We are moving from a company that helps you find answers to a company that helps you get things done,” said Pichai in his keynote address. He went on to explain the company’s goal of making Google more helpful and making all their products work harder for people. He reminded the audience about Google’s successful AI interventions like auto-suggested replies in Gmail and fastest route finder of Google Maps.
Telling a Complete Story
He opened up the conference by talking about the service from where it all started for them, i.e., Google Search. He showcased the “Full Coverage” news feature of Google Search, which is going to cover all the stories related to a particular query with the help of machine learning. Taking the example of recent news related to the photograph of a Black Hole. He showed how Google can bring all the relevant web content of this story in a single view.
Seeing is Believing
Aparna C. (VP and Head of Product, Google) then talked about the amalgamation of the camera and AR capabilities to Google search. She demonstrated the power of visualization by showing an AR Great White Shark on the stage. She also explained how Google can make students understand the concepts by actually seeing the related 3D animations on their study tables.
(Sources: theverge.com, phonearena.com)
When Physical Met Digital
Google Lens, an AI camera tool introduced last year, is also made more useful in certain new ways. Lens enabled devices can be used to highlight the popular dishes of a restaurant right on the menu. The Lens can also help in the calculation of the tip and splitting up of the bill. All this can be done by just pointing your camera in the right direction.
Soon, food magazines will not only tell you the recipe but actually show you how you can prepare the dish. The magazine pages will come alive as soon as you point Lens on them to enhance your visual experience even further. Google is going to partner with museums, magazine publishers, and retailers for the successful expansion of this technology.
Unknown Languages but Familiar World
You can now roam around the world without worrying about the language constraints. Google introduced new speech capabilities, and text translation features in their app, Google GO. It can translate and read out aloud the actual printed text on the posters, notice boards, hard papers, and signboards in your preferred language. This is available in over a dozen languages and comes in phones that cost less than $35. Hence, it can help over 800 million people in the world who find it difficult to read.
A Helping Hand
Google AI is acting as a helping hand for specially-abled people too. For instance, deaf and mute people can now use mobile phones for their conversations with the help of a technology called Live Relay. Live Relay converts speech from the other side into text and user’s text responses into speech and that too very smoothly.
Google also told about their research project Euphonia, under which they are trying to capture and analyze the speech patterns of people who cannot be easily understood. For example, the people who stutter or those who have been hit by a stroke or ALS. This project intends to create new personalized voice recognition models that can be integrated with Google Assistant.
This is Just a Start
Google is not stopping with their AI explorations any time soon. It seems like Google will keep on working hard to accomplish its mission of “organizing the world’s information,” and AI consulting services will surely help them in getting it done. In short, we can say that this is just the start of AI in the world of information.
Some other Google AI innovations like Duplex on the Web, Live Caption, Live Transcribe, DialogueFlow and AI-powered chatbots are also worth knowing about. Since it is not possible to cover the complete conference in one piece. You can watch the following video to learn more about other AI features from Google.