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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

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

1 COMMENT

  1. 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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Facebook, Google, Bing and Twitter Join The Trust Project to Help Users Combat Fake News

In their bid to combat fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan "The Trust Project"

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To Combat Fake News
To Combat Fake News Facebook, Twitter , Google have joined 'The Trust Project'. PIxabay.

San Francisco, Nov 19: In their bid to combat fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan “The Trust Project”.

“The Trust Project” is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics.

Starting from Friday, an icon will appear next to articles in Facebook News Feed.

When you click on the icon, you can read information on the organisations’ ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.

“Leading media companies representing dozens of news sites have begun to display ‘Trust Indicators’. These indicators, created by leaders from more than 75 news organisations also show what type of information people are reading a” news, opinion, analysis or advertising,” the university said in a statement.

Each indicator is signalled in the article and site code, providing the first standardised technical language for platforms to learn more from news sites about the quality and expertise behind journalists’ work.

“Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to use the indicators and are investigating and piloting ideas about how to best to use them to surface and display quality journalism,” the university said.

German press agency DPA, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy’s La Republica and La Stampa, Trinity Mirror and The Washington Post are among the companies starting to go live with “Trust Indicators” this month.

The Institute for Non-profit News has developed a WordPress plug-in to facilitate broader implementation by qualified publishers.

“An increasingly sceptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” Lehrman explained.

The eight core indicators are: Best Practices; Author Expertise; Type of Work; Citations and References; Methods; Locally Sourced; Diverse Voices and Actionable Feedback.

New organisations like the BBC and Hearst Television have collaborated in defining the “Trust Indicator” editorial and technical standards, and in developing the processes for implementing these.

“Quality journalism has never been more important,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of news products at Google.

“We hope to use the Type of Work indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as Best Practices and Author Info in our Knowledge Panels.”

“The Trust Indicators will provide a new level of accessibility and insight into the news that people on Facebook see day in and day out,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products at Facebook.

A growing number of news outlets are expected to display the indicators over the next six months, with a second phase of news partners beginning implementation work soon. (IANS)

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Google soon be adding Restaurant ‘Wait’ times feature on Search and Maps

Google will soon add wait times of the restaurants in Search and maps.

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Google will add Restaurant wait times on Search and Maps
Google will add Restaurant wait times on Search and Maps. Pixabay
  • Google is adding a new feature in Search and Maps.
  • It will show the waiting times for any restaurant.

Now it will much easier to find a place in your favorite restaurant with Google Map’s new feature

Tired of long queues at restaurants? Relax as Google is soon rolling out wait times on Search — followed by Maps — that will show you the estimated wait-time at your favorite eating hangouts. 

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant, open the business listing, and scroll down to the “Popular Times” section.

“There, you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period,” Google said in a blog post. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars, so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds. Wait-time estimates are based on anonymised historical data, similar to how Google computes the previously launched ‘Popular Times’ and ‘Visit Duration’ features.

In the case of restaurants, Google will now include a pop-up box that appears when you click on a time frame in the popular times’ chart. The box shows the live or historical data labelled as “busy”, “usually busy”, “usually not busy”, etc., along with the wait time, TechCrunch reported.( IANS)

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Serves Employees a Real Version of Android Burgers Emoji

At its Seattle office, the workers were served "Android burgers" during Friday's lunch, ending the debate that Android burger emoji is the winner when it comes to placing the cheese.

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Android Burgers
Google CEO, Sundar Pichai relished its employees with Android Burgers. Wikimedia.

San Francisco, Nov 4: After an intense debate on the social media over the placement of cheese in Android’s and Apple’s burger emojis — which was joined by India-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai — the tech giant has finally served “Android burgers” to its employees.

At its Seattle office, the workers were served “Android burgers” during Friday’s lunch, ending the debate that Android burger emoji is the winner when it comes to placing the cheese.

Android Burgers
Android Burgers were served to Google employees at Seattle. Twitter.

“The key difference between this burger and any other is that the slice of cheese is placed beneath the patty and atop the lower bun. It looks exactly like Android’s burger emoji, which sparked heated controversy earlier this week over the correct ingredient order of America’s beloved staple,” The Verge reported on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Apple losing out AI race to Google, Amazon: Report

The whole thing started when Thomas Baekdal, a writer and media analyst, tweeted early this week on the placement of cheese in Android and Apple burger emojis.

“I think we need to have a discussion about how Google’s burger emoji is placing the cheese underneath the burger, while Apple puts it on top,” Baekdal tweeted.

Reacting to this, Pichai tweeted, promising to “drop everything” and address the issue if people on the platform agree on what the correct placement of ingredient should be.

With serving “Android burgers,” it appears the kitchen department at Google has heard Pichai loud and clear.

The hamburger emoji, also known as the cheeseburger, was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015, according to Emojipedia — an emoji reference website. (IANS)