These days Google is not just a search engine; it has become a verb. Whenever someone isn’t sure of something, all they have to do to find the answer in this day and age is “Google it!” However, there is one landscape that Google hasn’t been able to conquer and that is the digital helper landscape. For years, Siri has owned the iPhone market, helping millions of consumers easily access their information. While Google does has a virtual helper called the Google Assistant, until recently it was only available for Pixel phones. Nevertheless, Google Assistant will soon be available for iPhones too.
But the entry into the iPhone isn’t the only update for Google Assistant, as Google brings the AI into even more devices. The smart assistant is also getting much smarter. Of course, there will be some limits to the Google Assistant’s capabilities on iOS, since it’s not embedded at the operating system level as it is with Android. Developers are still working hard to make the Assistant seamless on the iOS platform.
Google is also working to improve Assistant’s “conversationality,” since up to 70 percent of requests to the AI come in the form of natural language, rather than keywords, like in a standard Google search. It’s another step to make it easier to chat naturally with the AI, like the capability for individualized voice recognition. These capabilities will help assist on other platforms Google has launched its Assistant in such as the Google Home for households. This platform allows multiple members to have access to one Assistant powered device.
The company plans to integrate Google Assistant into a slew of consumer devices, working with brands like LG, Panasonic, Sony, as well as others in order to control them with Assistant and even to build the AI into their products. Third-party developers will also have a shot at creating their own applications for Assistant, similar to Alexa’s developer program — but with Android’s already thriving development community, the potential for growth could be even greater.
Google Assistant’s brain boost will extend to its language recognition capabilities, too. Starting this summer, the AI will recognize French, German, Brazilian-Portuguese and Japanese, with Spanish, Italian, and Korean to follow soon after.
At this rate, it doesn’t look like Siri is going to be the only AI girl on the block anymore. First, Alexa made waves in the market and now it seems Google is doing big things to catch up. It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to new competitor AI products.