OK, Google evolves to become a full-fledge Assistant


Google introduced a new level of search at the Google I/O 2016 keynote today. Noting that a combination of technologies including better voice recognition, natural language processing, translation, and machine learning have advanced the state of search far beyond the blue links produced by Google when they first launched, Google is calling the new capabilities the Google Assistant. A hallmark of the new Google Assistant is the conversational nature that makes it seem more like a two-way dialogue that is occurring between users and their computer devices.

Google Assistant is essentially an evolution of the OK, Google…command that was developed as both a means of inquiry and to provide voice commands. One of the limiting factors in the past has been the single purpose nature of commands and an inability to detect context. With the improvements made, Google points out the Assistant can now do things like recognize the difference between a question about curry-based restaurant recommendations and updates about the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry. Users can also do things like ask questions or issue commands that build upon a previous result.

Google is building the new Assistant capabilities into two platforms announced today. The Google Assistant will be the driving command and query tool used by the new Google Home device and it will be accessible through Google’s new Allo messaging app.

One change we have seen with some recent Google announcements is greater integration of technologies like Translate being available from within other apps. This same concept is extending to the Google Assistant and its accessibility from within other apps like Allo. This should make it easier for users engaging in communication to access information without breaking up a conversation.

Keep following TalkAndroid for more coverage from Google I/O 2016.

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.