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Indian-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveils ‘Google Assistant’

Google recently unveiled their answer to Apple's Siri in the form of ‘Google Assistant’, a two-way conversational assistant

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Wikimedia Commons
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San Francisco: Google CEO, the Tamil Nadu born Sundar Pichai recently unveiled their answer to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana in the form of ‘Google Assistant’, a two-way conversational assistant that helps with all tasks from coordinating a dinner with friends to searching movie timings to setting the oven timer.

Pichai also unveiled ‘Google Home’ – a voice-activated product that brings Google Assistant to any room in your house, a new messaging app called ‘Allo’ and video calling feature ‘Duo’ as the company kicked off ‘Google I/O,’ its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California.

“It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It’s a Google for you, by you,” Pichai wrote in a blog post.

“The Assistant is an ambient experience that will work seamlessly across devices and contexts. So you can summon Google’s help no matter where you are or what the context. It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users’ questions,” he added.

Google Home lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks and get answers from Google – all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, one can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight, or turn on your lights.

Related article: Google for India

“It’s designed to fit your home with customisable bases in different colors and materials. Google Home will be released later this year,” Pichai informed.

The messaging app Allo comes complete with the Google Assistant so one can interact with it directly in their chats, either one-on-one or with friends. Allo includes ‘Smart Reply’ which suggests responses to messages based on context and comes with fun ways to make your chats more expressive, including emojis, stickers and the ability to get creative with photos.

“Because the Assistant understands your world, you can ask for things like your agenda for the day or photos from your last trip. If you’re planning a dinner with friends, you can ask the assistant to suggest restaurants nearby, all in one thread,” Pichai further wrote.

Duo is a companion app for one-to-one video calling. “With Duo, our goal is to make video calling faster and more reliable, even on slower network speeds. We also introduced a feature called ‘Knock Knock’ which gives you a live video of the other caller before you answer,” the Indian-born executive posted.

Best of all, both Allo and Duo are based on your phone number, so you can communicate with anyone regardless of whether they’re on Android or iOS. Both apps will be available this summer.

“We are sharing details about what’s coming in Android N, including better performance for graphics and effects, reduced battery consumption and storage, background downloads of system updates, and streamlined notifications so you can power through them faster, and updated emojis including 72 new ones,” Pichai said.

On top of Android N, Google has built a new platform for high-quality mobile virtual reality (VR) called ‘Daydream’. “Together with Android manufacturers, we’re working on upcoming phones and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be really immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use,” Pichai added.

Google also previewed ‘Android Wear 2.0’, including a revamped user experience and stand alone apps that run right on the watch, no matter where your phone is or even if it’s off.
“Finally, we’re introducing Android Instant Apps – which let you run Android apps instantly, without requiring installation,” he said.

Source: IANS

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  • Pritam Go Green

    I wonder sometimes where are we going. From a traditional society to a fully automated life. Well i must admit the fact that already google smart watch is doing wonders and now this !!!!! #GoogleHome
    I think the level which Google possess this is going to be a big challenge for SIri and Cortana. Brace yourselves people !!! cz some serious automata is about to enter in ur lives !!!!

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  • Pritam Go Green

    I wonder sometimes where are we going. From a traditional society to a fully automated life. Well i must admit the fact that already google smart watch is doing wonders and now this !!!!! #GoogleHome
    I think the level which Google possess this is going to be a big challenge for SIri and Cortana. Brace yourselves people !!! cz some serious automata is about to enter in ur lives !!!!

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)