How Google Makes Push Into Artificial Intelligence

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 19, 2016

Artificial Intelligence

Making its push into Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (VR), Google kicked off its mega event - Google I/O 2016. Highlighting its progress with artificial intelligence, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai revealed new products and services that use smarter software to make decisions rather than follow instructions, part of a major push into artificial intelligence that would define the tech giant over the next decade.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., said it would soon start selling a device called Home that will answer users’ questions and complete tasks for them, like scheduling appointments, playing music and sending emails. The device resembles Amazon.com Inc.’s popular Echo device.

“We think of it as a conversational assistant,” the Wall Street Journal, quoted Pichai as saying at Google’s annual developers’ conference. “We want users to have an ongoing dialogue with Google”, he said. 

Google also said it would launch a new messaging app, called Allo, that would incorporate some of the same underlying technology as Home to create smarter conversations. The developers’ conference is also expected to include announcements about Google’s next moves in virtual reality and around its Android mobile-operating system.

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest technologies in Silicon Valley, where executives and engineers say it can enable computers to make inferences and decisions, versus simply following instructions programmed into them.

Researchers increasingly use one branch of artificial intelligence, called machine learning, to enable computers to “teach” themselves new skills by reviewing huge data sets. The techniques are used to enable computers to recognize speech and images, as well as learn how to drive a car.

Google has invested heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years to strengthen its existing products and spawn new ones. Google used artificial intelligence to create RankBrain, a system to handle complex search queries that is now one of the most important factors in how it ranks search results.

Google also used artificial intelligence to develop the software that defeated the world’s best player in the board game Go, years before experts had forecast. The company’s Google Now personal assistant uses data it collects on users and other contextual clues, such as their location and the time of day, to deliver information such as weather or traffic conditions before users ask for it. Another new Google service emails to suggest replies it has written for users.