AI And Other Key Takeaways From Google I/O 2017
Like every year, Google kicked off its annual Google I/O 2017 developers conference in California, showcasing some of its biggest innovations for the coming year. However, this year the tech giant made it very clear that it is moving from a mobile-first to an artificial intelligence (AI) first world,
Sharing his vision about the company’s “AI-first” world CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned at the keynote session, “In an AI-first world, we are rethinking all our products.” He added that the company is using machine learning and deep learning in all its products, from search to data centres, and Cloud to Google Assistant.
With AI at the center of all discussion, here are the key takeaways from the Google I/O 2017 conference.
AR and Visual Positioning Service (VPS)
Google’s idea of implementing Augmented Reality (AR) in begins by integrating Tango and Maps. With Tango, devices can track motion and understand distances and their position in the real world. The VPS takes help of Tango’s AR advancements and helps users create real-time virtual spaces to be used in Maps. It lets users create a virtual map of your office space and use the algorithms of Maps to lead you to his or her destination. The next phone with Tango technology will be the ASUS ZenFone AR, available this summer, the company said.
Read more: 5 Key Takeaways From Google I/O 2016
Cloud TPU to handle AI
In order to take the AI to the next level, Google unveiled its second generation TPU chip along with its cloud service. This silicon infrastructure will be able to train neural networks, aid image recognition and host machine translation tools. “The new chip can train neural networks at a rate several times faster than existing processors, cutting times from as much as day down to several hours,” Jeff Dean, who heads Google Brain said at the conference.
In March, Google released the first developer preview of Android O, which will be coming to the latest mobile operating system. During the keynote, Google announced Notification Dots, Google Play Protect, Smart Text Selection, among others. A new Android O beta was also available for download.
After learning from the failures of Android One, Google will offer a lightweight version of Android O. Here, instead of collaborating with smartphone makers to build a low-cost hardware, Google will essentially allow developers and hardware manufacturers to make cheaper phones, packing low cost components that will still offer a smooth and fluid user experience. Google said the first smartphone with Android GO will hit the markets only in 2018.
Google Home, which is seen rivaling Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, has a slew of new features. Perhaps the most significant feature is that Home users will be able to make hands-free phone calls, through the device. Amazon recently announced a similar feature, but calling is limited to owners of Echo devices unlike Google which will let users call mobiles, landlines in the US and Canada as well. Now, Google is also launching a new compelling feature called “proactive assistance” that will alert users on upcoming traffic, meetings etc, based on their schedule.
A big piece of news is that Assistant is now coming to the iPhone for the first time. Here, instead of communicating to the Assistant with the voice, you can also type your queries. Google Assistant will also now take advantage of Google Lens, allowing users to take a photo at real world items to get information via Assistant.
The world of VR
In October 2016, Google launched Daydream View, a VR headset that’s comfortable and easy to use. Today, there are lots of Daydream-ready phones available to choose from. Google announced new phones that will be Daydream-ready, including the Galaxy S8 and S8+, which will be Daydream-ready via a software update this summer, and LG’s next flagship phone, which will launch later this year. Daydream will soon also support a new category of VR devices, called standalone VR headsets that is fully optimized for VR, and features a new headset tracking technology called WorldSense that enables positional tracking.
In order to have a presence in the field of job search, Google is introducing its own job search portal. The search engine will draw data from existing job portals like LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster etc. Jobs will be available initially in the US and to the world later sometime. Jobs will leverage Google’s advanced machine learning capabilities to better match opportunities with candidates.
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