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Google Shows Off AI to Keep Up with Facebook, Amazon, Apple

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Clarence Cohen
May 18, 2016 22:11

Google announced a dizzying array of new apps, devices and platforms Wednesday to keep rivals from turning its once-dominant search engine into a relic in the age of mobile computing and beyond.The most important unveiling at Google s I/O developer conference near its Silicon Valley headquarters was Allo, a mobile messaging app featuring a digital assistant that uses artificial intelligence to respond to texted questions and perform other useful tasks.

Then there was Duo, a video calling app to rival Apple Inc. s popular FaceTime video conferencing.The Alphabet Inc. division also revealed Google Home, a gadget to answer voice-based questions that competes with Amazon.com Inc. s hot-selling Echo device, and Daydream, a suite of software and hardware for virtual reality, an area where Facebook Inc. has made early strides.

"If Google can use its lead in artificial intelligence to build digital assistants that help people through connected devices whereever they are, then it has a chance of replicating the success of its search engine, Ask and other analysts said.

"Google became one of the world s most valuable companies by making a search engine that sucks in billions of queries people type into web browsers on PCs and phones.

The bet is that whoever makes the most engaging and useful digital personal assistant, also known as the conversational interface, will control the layer between a person and their digital life, and collect the most revenue and profit from being that privileged broker.Key to Google s quest for more consumer attention in a mobile computing world is software that better anticipates their needs and learns about them.

People will summon it by using the same call out -- "OK, Google" -- that is used in other existing Google mobile apps.

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Clarence Cohen
May 18, 2016 22:11
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