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Google Plans to Make Assistant More Powerful by Investing in Startups

Google invests in startups to make its Assistant smarter

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

To make Google Assistant better, the company has announced a new investment programme for early-stage startups to build an enhanced digital assistant ecosystem.

The new initiative will include investment capital from Google to provide additional financial resources for the development, hiring and management of these startups.

The startups will get advice from Google engineers, product managers and design experts to share technical guidance and product development feedback.

“We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features,” Sanjay Kapoor, Vice President, Corporate Development at Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The programme will let startups access to the Google Cloud Platform — the suite of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that it uses for products like Google Search and YouTube.

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Google. Pixabay

The first batch of investments has startups like “GoMoment”, a creator of “Ivy”, a 24/7 concierge for hotel guests, capable of providing instant answers to common questions.

Another early-stage startup is “Edwin” that prepares students looking to take English as a foreign language tests such as the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL).

“Edwin” combines advanced AI technology with the expertise of professional English teachers to tailor lessons according to individual needs, learning style and pace.

“BotSociety” startup has created a tool that allows developers to design, prototype and user test voice interfaces.

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More than 30,000 developers worldwide have designed their voice assistant applications using “Botsociety”.

“With aPulse Labs’, developers can test their applications with real people, quickly acquire in-depth insights, and use that feedback to refine the experience,” Google said.  (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

Sundar
Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)