What is Google Assistant?

 

Google made waves earlier this week with the announcement of their new Pixel smartphone – but it’s the smart software behind the device’s sleek shell that’s really got us interested.

The Pixel comes loaded with Google Assistant, a new virtual assistant that’s being touted as “The Google for your world”. Full details on Google Assistant are yet to emerge, but we can get a good idea of what the new software is all about from the surrounding it at launch. Here’s are four things we know so far:

“The more you use it, the more useful it becomes”

We found this quote from the video posted above particularly interesting. We know that Google’s RankBrain machine learning system is already being used to improve the relevance of search results, and we also know that machine learning is being used to continually optimise the marketing insights delivered through Google Analytics. Now it seems we are to see a similar approach applied to Google Assistant. The software could mould itself to the user like a boot to a foot.

It answers your queries

Ask a question and Google Assistant will deliver the response. Judging by the early promotional videos for the software, these responses will be delivered at least some of the time in a graphic format, similar to the structured content cards (e.g. air fares, weather summaries) which are increasingly being delivered as top results in Google searches.

It does things for you

Google Assistant is designed to perform functions in your daily life, based on your spoken commands. These could range from operating lighting, heating and media players in your home to setting reminders on your phone. A recent estimate from Juniper Research has suggested that 38.5 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020 – and it seems that Google Assistant is being positioned as the animating force within this vast network. You’ll be able to use Google Assistant with your phone, your watch, your car – and presumable anything else that’s connected.

It’s on hand to join in with your Allo conversations

Simply add @google into your Google Allo conversations to enrich your interactions with friends, family and colleagues via the messenger app. Google are saying this feature will allow you to “Find restaurants to try, share videos and get directions right from your chat with friends” – and plenty of other functions are available too.

 

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