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Google Acquires Start-up to Boost Answering Abilities of Google Assistant

In the 2018 edition of "Smart Speaker IQ Test" by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly -- up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported last month

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google has acquired a start-up named Superpod that built an app allowing users to post questions and receive answers from experts quickly — a move that will help boost Google Assistant’s ability to accurately answer users’ questions.

According to a report in Axios late Thursday, Google paid nearly $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod’s assets.

Google later confirmed the acquisition to Fortune but declined to disclose financial details.

Superpod shut down its Q&A app in September last year.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“We can’t share any details at this time, but we’re trekking onwards toward the same north star and are very excited about the future,” Superpod founders wrote in a message.

Google is constantly working on to improve its Assistant’s capabilities to take on similar voice-based services like Amazon Alexa.

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Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant recently outperformed her — and other voice assistants like Apple Siri — in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers.

In the 2018 edition of “Smart Speaker IQ Test” by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly — up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported last month. (IANS)

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Tech Major Google Abandons its Tablet-making Efforts

For Google-made hardware, the company is now focusing its roadmap on the Pixelbook family of laptops moving forward

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Confirming that there would be no upcoming sequel to its Pixel Slate, Google has seemingly abandoned its tablet-making efforts and focus mainly on making laptops.

“Hey, it’s true. Google’s hardware team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android and Chrome OS teams are 100 per cent committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu),” Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Devices and Services tweeted on Thursday.

However, the company would still support the existing Pixel Slate devices.

“We will fully support Pixel Slate for the long-term as well,” Osterloh added.

The Google Pixel Slate was first announced in October 2018 and was later launched last November at a starting price of $599.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Even though it had a nice display and support for a mouse and trackpad, CNET found it to be pricey in comparison to the Chromebook and to tablet competition. It was also heavy and had buggy software, the report said.

According to a Computerworld report, affected employees from the tablet division in Google have been reassigned from developing tablets to laptops.

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For Google-made hardware, the company is now focusing its roadmap on the Pixelbook family of laptops moving forward.

“For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops,” CNET quoted a company spokesperson as saying. (IANS)