Google kicked off Google I/O by introducing Google Assistant. Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Alexa and will be used across multiple devices including car apps and other devices like Google Home. While Google Now has been on Android for a good amount of time, Google Assistant is meant to be a beefier extension to Google Now.
Google wants to be able to understand the context of what its users are asking Google Assistant and return results that users are most interested in. Google also wants Assistant to handle follow up questions and refine the user’s search results. The goal is to make Assistant a true AI application that can interact with the user in a much more granular way than other assistants.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also gave Amazon credit for creating a new category and drive in the virtual assistant space with its Amazon Echo with Alexa. Even with that humble shout out, Sundar insisted that Google Assistant will do things better than “other” assistants. Google’s biggest integration for Google Assistant will be the newly announced Google Home. Google Home is a small device, much like the Amazon Echo, which will sit in the home and give you answers and control smart devices for you.
It will be interesting to see what Google will do with its Assistant and to see if they’ll allow third party device makers to integrate the Assistant into their products. For now this is aimed squarely at Amazon and Alexa. Giving consumers choice is a good thing, now let’s hope that this isn’t just another Google beta that gets lost in the haystack.
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