Google Goes All in With its Virtual Assistant

Google's virtual assistant. Image source: Google

Google held their annual developer conference – Google I/O this week in which they mentioned some big proposals on how they’re going to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning into their products.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google started the showcase with the keynote speech in which he focused towards the company’s approach to the latest use of Artificial Intelligence in all of its products. Apart from a search engine Google, the company provides email and video services, Android operating software for smart phones to count a few.

Wall Street Journal’s Jack Nicas covered the announcements in detail.

The new applications unveiled on Wednesday to touch on popular Google functions. Most noteworthy are photos, email and mobile payments,” Nicas explains.

Google said at this year’s conference it would soon enable its Google Assistant to complete transactions. Furthermore it will also provide information about objects in the real world that are in view of a smartphone’s camera.”


One of the new functions they’ve introduced is known as Google Lens. Image recognition is one feature through which Google wants to bring its search engine expertise right to your smartphone. Using machine learning, images are recognized when the camera is pointed at it. This can give you a real-time notification of what it is you’re looking at. Their current Google Now service is able to detect quotes on a screen and show you relevant information.

“It’s a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you’re looking at,” Pichai explained, “and help you take action based on that information.”

However, Google Lens is their way of incorporating this type of recognition into the real world.

Integration of google lens and virtual assistant.
Google’s new iteration: Google lens. Image credits: Google


Google Assistant is the tech giant’s competitor to the likes of Siri and Cortana, which will be available on both Android and iOS devices.

This allows Android’s user interface to be much more proactive in interpreting what it’s being shown on screen. It can also interpret what information it is receiving. This ranges from translating text from different languages to being seemingly more emotionally intelligent when it comes to the type of questions a person asks.

Artificial intelligence is currently being researched and implemented fairly quickly these days. With smartphones being one of the main mediums to capitalize on how it can make day to day lives easier, AI is the hot topic.

Google said it was also enabling other companies to incorporate the Google Assistant into their devices, including refrigerators, washing machines and speakers, which Google hopes will help make its services even more ubiquitous,” explained Nicas.

Where this virtual assistant will end up is one of the exciting aspects of modern technology. But for now we’ll just have to wait and see what these tech companies manage to come up with. To be fair who doesn’t want an virtual assistant. And to be honest it seems so impressive that it’s scary.


Launched barely six months ago, it was just a little smart speaker that can play music. Now, in its second edition it can order delivery, make hands-free calling, visual responses, or prompting you to grab an umbrella just because its gonna be raining when you leave office/home. With all the added new features, Google Home is all set to run a big mile and be in close competition to Amazon echo.


Now, Google has a separate search engine for job search, Google for Jobs, tailor-made for finding work. It will allow users to filter queries by job title, industry, or time of commute. The engine uses machine learning to cluster job titles that refer to the same thing, so you won’t miss the listing for “store clerk” just because you searched for “retail associate.”

Source Google I/O Wired WSJ

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