Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world, but its future, like that of all tech giants, is clouded by a looming threat. The search company makes virtually all of its money from ads placed on the World Wide Web. But what happens to the cash machine if web search eventually becomes outmoded?
That worry isn’t far-fetched. More of the world’s computing time keeps shifting to smartphones, where apps have supplanted the web. And internet-connected devices that may dominate the next era in tech — smartwatches, home-assistant devices like Amazon’s Echo, or virtual reality machines like Oculus Rift — are likely to be free of the web, and may even lack screens.
But if Google is worried, it isn’t showing it. The company has long been working on a not-so-secret weapon to avert its potential irrelevance. Google has shoveled vast financial and engineering resources into a collection of data mining and artificial intelligence systems, from speech recognition to machine translation to computer vision.
Now Google is melding these advances into a new product, a technology whose ultimate aim is something like the talking computer on “Star Trek.” It is a high-stakes bet: If this new tech fails, it could signal the beginning of the end of Google’s reign over our lives. But if it succeeds, Google could achieve a centrality in human experience unrivaled by any tech product so far.
The company calls its version of this all-powerful machine the Google Assistant. Today, it resembles other digital helpers you’ve likely used — things like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. It currently lives in Google’s new messaging app, Allo, and will also be featured in a few new gadgets the company plans to unveil next week, including a new smartphone and an Amazon Echo-like talking computer called Google Home.
But Google has much grander aims for the Assistant. People at the company say that Sundar Pichai, who took over as Google’s chief executive last year after Google was split into a conglomerate called Alphabet, has bet the company on the new tech. Mr. Pichai declined an interview request for this column, but at Google’s developer conference in May, he called the development of the Assistant “a seminal moment” for the company.
The Latest on: Google Assistant
via Google News
The Latest on: Google Assistant
- Google Assistant gains new British and Australian accents on December 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm
PhoneDog Media is home to PhoneDog, Android & Me, TmoNews, and TodaysiPhone. The network receives 2.5 million unique visitors and 10 million pageviews each month, along with a combined three million v... […]
- Google Assistant now offers Australian and British accents in the US on December 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm
As of today, Google Assistant in the United States now has support for Australian and English accents. The accent options are rolling out to users who can choose to activate them using the assistant’s ... […]
- Google Assistant learns two new accents on December 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Being helpful is just one part of the Google Assistant experience. Another part is offering up interesting ways to interact with the digital assistant. So, how about some new accents? Google has ... […]
- Google Assistant learns how to speak Australian on December 13, 2018 at 11:54 am
The two latest voices for Google Assistant will sound a bit different than the rest. Google offers a handful of voice options for its digital assistant that's built into smart speakers like Google Hom... […]
- Google Assistant in the USA gets Australian and British accent options on December 13, 2018 at 10:55 am
The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are all very different counties. Amongst those three nations, there are countless differences in culture, food, and more. One thing the trio of ... […]
- Google Assistant Gets New British and Australian Accents on December 13, 2018 at 9:53 am
Google Assistant is getting some new features just in time for the holidays: new accents. If you are in the United States, you can now have the Assistant speak to you in a British, or an Australian ac... […]
- Google Assistant can now do British and Australian accents in the US on December 13, 2018 at 9:07 am
Even the old smart assistant needs a fresh coat of paint from time to time. For those looking to switch things up a touch, Google announced today that Assistant is now capable of speaking in a ... […]
- You can now give your Google Assistant a British or Australian accent on December 13, 2018 at 9:00 am
Now you can get your Google Assistant device to say "g'day." The voice assistant features two new voices for English speakers in the U.S., with the introduction of being able to choose an ... […]
- Google Assistant can now speak with an Australian or English accent on December 13, 2018 at 8:00 am
Google Assistant hasn't been traveling, but it has picked up some new accents. The voice assistant now has the ability to speak in an Australian or English accent (though Google calls it British). The ... […]
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