Google is all set to incorporate a bit of artificial intelligence (AI) in its new messaging app, Allo. The company, at its annual I/o conference, announced that Allo will rely on “Assistant”, the new, improved version of Google Now which accepts voice commands to run your phone.
While Google is held to be near synonymous with online search by the internet generation—and, as per IDC, is the lead player in the smartphone-OS space, with Android—when it comes to messaging apps, the comapny has a less than stellar record. Google started out with G-Talk and then moved on to Hangouts, but lost to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram in the race. The company, however, is now hoping to change that. To stand apart from the likes of Messenger and WhatsApp—which offer a host of services, from chatbots to video messaging—Google is all set to incorporate a bit of artificial intelligence (AI) in its new messaging app, Allo. The company, at its annual I/o conference, announced that Allo will rely on “Assistant”, the new, improved version of Google Now which accepts voice commands to run your phone. What is different this time is that Assistant will analyse responses from your past chats and conversations, and use it to reply to messages for you. Google says that it would improve upon a technology already being used by Gmail, where the servers provide a host of suggestions for replying to a mail based on its context. In addition to analysing text, Assistant will also analyse photo content and provide a more advanced search service, where the user can just ask it to pick out all the photos that feature, for instance, Italian food. Assistant -powered Allo will also remember your preferences and give suggestions.
Another important addition to Google’s AI stable is Google Home, modelled on Amazon Echo—a home speaker that can have conversations and remember to-do lists and tasks. Google Home is expected to do this and much more. It will wake you up, make reservations and even adjust the thermostat and lighting in your home. With increasing interplay between AI and internet-of-things, and more companies using chip-based systems like ACs, washing machines or refrigerators that can be monitored via an app, Google expects to control all systems just by voice commands or click of a button. Though the systems are in place, the technology is still a bit expensive to be used extensively. Google’s AI foray could ultimately lead both the company and the user into a world where it even does the daily chores like ordering groceries. With the company moving towards smart homes and a smarter future, what remains to be seen is if it would make us smarter or otherwise.