Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices. Unlike the company's previous virtual assistant, Google Now, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.
Assistant initially debuted in May 2016 as part of Google's messaging app Allo, and its voice-activated speaker Google Home. After a period of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it began to be deployed on other Android devices in February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear (now Wear OS), and was released as a standalone app on the iOS operating system in May 2017. Alongside the announcement of a software development kit in April 2017, the Assistant has been, and is being, further extended to support a large variety of devices, including cars and third party smart home appliances. The functionality of the Assistant can also be enhanced by third-party developers.
In 2017, Google Assistant was installed on more than 400 million devices.
Users primarily interact with Google Assistant through natural voice, though keyboard input is also supported. In the same nature and manner as Google Now, the Assistant is able to search the Internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to identify objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs.
Google Assistant on the Pixel smartphone
|Initial release||May 18, 2016|
|Operating system||Android, Chrome OS, iOS and KaiOS (Jio Phone and Nokia 8110 4G)|
Google Assistant was unveiled during Google's developer conference on May 18, 2016, as part of the unveiling of the Google Home smart speaker and new messaging app Allo; Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained that the Assistant was designed to be a conversational and two-way experience, and "an ambient experience that extends across devices". Later that month, Google assigned Google Doodle leader Ryan Germick and hired former Pixar animator Emma Coats to develop "a little more of a personality."
For system-level integration outside of the Allo app and Google Home, Google Assistant was initially exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. In February 2017, Google announced that it had begun to enable access to the Assistant on Android smartphones running Android Marshmallow or Nougat, beginning in select English-speaking markets. Android tablets did not receive the Assistant as part of this rollout. The Assistant is also integrated in Android Wear 2.0, and will be included in future versions of Android TV and Android Auto. In October 2017, the Google Pixelbook became the first laptop to include Google Assistant. Google Assistant later came to the Google Pixel Buds. In December 2017, Google announced that the Assistant would be released for phones running Android Lollipop through an update to Google Play Services, as well as tablets running 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat.
On May 15, 2017, Android Police reported that Google Assistant would be coming to the iOS operating system as a separate app. The information was confirmed two days later at Google's developer conference.
In January 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show, the first Assistant-powered "smart displays" were released. Smart displays were shown at the event from Lenovo, Sony, JBL and LG. These devices have support for Google Duo video calls, YouTube videos, Google Maps directions, a Google Calendar agenda, viewing of smart camera footage, in addition to services which work with Google Home devices.
In December 2016, Google launched "Actions on Google", a developer platform for Google Assistant. Actions on Google allows 3rd party developers to build apps for Google Assistant. In March 2017, Google added new tools for developing on Actions on Google to support the creation of games for Google Assistant. Originally limited to the Google Home smart speaker, Actions on Google was made available to Android and iOS devices in May 2017, at which time Google also introduced an app directory for overview of compatible products and services. To incentivize developers to build Actions, Google announced a competition, in which first place won tickets to Google's 2018 developer conference, $10,000, and a walk-through of Google's campus, while second place and third place received $7,500 and $5,000, respectively, and a Google Home.
In April 2017, a software development kit (SDK) was released, allowing third-party developers to build their own hardware that can run Google Assistant. It has been integrated into Raspberry Pi, cars from Audi and Volvo, and smart home appliances, including fridges, washers, and ovens, from companies including iRobot, LG, General Electric, and D-Link. Google updated the SDK in December 2017 to add several features that only the Google Home smart speakers and Google Assistant smartphone apps had previously supported.
The features include:
On May 2, 2018, Google announced a new program on their blog that focuses on investing in the future of Google Assistant through early-stage startups. Their focus was to build an environment where developers could build richer experiences for their users. This includes startups that broaden Assistant's features, are building new hardware devices, or simply differentiating in different industries.
Google Assistant, in the nature and manner of Google Now, can search the Internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Unlike Google Now, however, the Assistant can engage in a two-way conversation, using Google's natural language processing algorithm. Search results are presented in a card format that users can tap to open the page. In February 2017, Google announced that users of Google Home would be able to shop entirely by voice for products through its Google Express shopping service, with products available from Whole Foods Market, Costco, Walgreens, PetSmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond at launch, and other retailers added in the following months as new partnerships were formed. Google Assistant can maintain a shopping list; this was previously done within the notetaking service Google Keep, but the feature was moved to Google Express and the Google Home app in April 2017, resulting in a severe loss of functionality.
In May 2017, Google announced that the Assistant would support a keyboard for typed input and visual responses, support identifying objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money. Through the use of the keyboard, users can see a history of queries made to Google Assistant, and edit or delete previous inputs. The Assistant warns against deleting, however, due to its use of previous inputs to generate better answers in the future. In November 2017, it became possible to identify songs currently playing by asking the Assistant..
This feature of the speech recognition is available in English, among other languages. In July 2018, the Google Home version of Assistant gained support for multiple actions triggered by a single vocal shortcut command.
At the annual I/O developers conference on May 8, 2018, Google's SEO announced the addition of six new voice options for Google Assistant, one of which being John Legend's. This was made possible by WaveNet, a voice synthesizer developed by DeepMind, which significantly reduced the amount of audio samples that a voice actor was required to produce for creating a voice model.
In August 2018, Google added bilingual capabilities to Google Assistant for existing supported languages on devices.Recent reports say that it may support multilingual support by setting a third default language on Android Phone.
As a default option, Google Assistant doesn't support two common features of the speech recognition on the transcripted texts, like punctuation and spelling. However, a Beta feature of Speech-to-text enables only en-Us language users to ask "to detect and insert punctuation in transcription results. Speech-to-Text can recognize commas, question marks, and periods in transcription requests.
In May 2018, Google revealed Duplex, an extension of Google Assistant that allows it to carry out natural conversations by mimicking human voice. The assistant can autonomously complete tasks such as calling a hair salon to book an appointment, scheduling a restaurant reservation, or calling businesses to verify holiday store hours. While Duplex can complete most of its tasks fully autonomously, it is able to recognize situations that it is unable to complete and can signal a human operator to finish the task. Duplex was created to speak in a more natural voice and language by incorporating speech disfluencies such as filler words like "hmm" and "uh" and using common phrases such as "mhm" and "gotcha", along with more human-like intonation and response latency. Duplex is currently in development and have a limited release in late 2018 with Google Pixel users. During the limited release, Pixel phone users in Atlanta, New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco will only be able to use Duplex to make restaurant reservations.
After the announcement, concerns were made over the ethical and societal questions that artificial intelligence technology such as Duplex raises. For instance, human operators may not notice that they are speaking with a digital robot when conversing with Duplex, which some critics view as unethical or deceitful. Concerns over privacy were also identified, as conversations with Duplex are recorded in order for the virtual assistant to analyze and respond. Privacy advocates have also raised concerns of how the millions of vocal samples gathered from consumers are fed back into the algorithms of virtual assistants, making these forms of AI smarter with each use. Though these features individualize the user experience, critics are unsure about the long term implications of giving “the company unprecedented access to human patterns and preferences that are crucial to the next phase of artificial intelligence,” which could potentially lead to AI outsmarting its creators.
While transparency was referred to as a key part to the experience when the technology was revealed, Google later further clarified in a statement saying, "We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we’ll make sure the system is appropriately identified." Google further added that, in certain jurisdictions, the assistant would inform those on the other end of the phone that the call is being recorded.
The 2018 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series pitting the defending World Series champion Houston Astros against the Boston Red Sox, for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2018 World Series. The series was played in a 2-3-2 format, with the first two and last two (if necessary) games played at the home ballpark of the higher seeded team. The series was the 49th in league history, with TBS televising all games in the United States. The Red Sox defeated the Astros, four games to one.
For the second year in a row, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; as with the NLCS, this ALCS was sponsored by Google Assistant and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Google Assistant.The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in five games to win their ninth World Series championship.2018 National League Championship Series
The 2018 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Milwaukee Brewers against the Los Angeles Dodgers, for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2018 World Series against the AL Champions, the Boston Red Sox.
The series was the 49th in league history, with Fox airing all games in the United States. This series was the first time two teams that won their division in a tiebreaker game faced each other in a playoff series, as well as the first postseason match-up between the Brewers and Dodgers. For the first time since 2012, the NLCS reached a game seven, with the Dodgers defeating the Brewers and winning back-to-back pennants for the first time since 1977-1978.
For the second year, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; as with the ALCS, this NLCS was sponsored by Google Assistant and was officially known as the National League Championship Series presented by Google Assistant.Android Things
Android Things (codenamed Brillo) is an Android-based embedded operating system platform by Google, announced at Google I/O 2015. It is aimed to be used with low-power and memory constrained Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which are usually built from different MCU platforms. As an IoT OS it is designed to work as low as 32–64 MB of RAM. It will support Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi. Along with Brillo, Google also introduced the Weave protocol, which these devices can use to communicate with other compatible devices.Google provides OEM implementations of Android Things designed for the production of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers and displays running one of two Qualcomm "Home Hub" systems-on-chip. Products have been developed by JBL, Lenovo, and LG Electronics.Assistant
Assistant may refer to:
Assistant (by Speaktoit), a virtual assistant app for smartphones
Assistant (software), a software tool to assist in computer configuration
Google Assistant, a virtual assistant by Google
The Assistant (TV series), an MTV reality show
ST Assistant, a British tugboat
HMS Assistant, a Royal Navy vesselChatbot
A chatbot (also known as a smartbot, conversational bot, chatterbot, interactive agent, conversational interface, Conversational AI, or artificial conversational entity) is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test. Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition. Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler ones scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database.
The term "ChatterBot" was originally coined by Michael Mauldin (creator of the first Verbot, Julia) in 1994 to describe these conversational programs. Today, most chatbots are accessed via virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, via messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat, or via individual organizations' apps and websites. Chatbots can be classified into usage categories such as conversational commerce (e-commerce via chat), analytics, communication, customer support, design, developer tools, education, entertainment, finance, food, games, health, HR, marketing, news, personal, productivity, shopping, social, sports, travel and utilities.Beyond chatbots, Conversational AI refers to the use of messaging apps, speech-based assistants and chatbots to automate communication and create personalized customer experiences at scale.Dialogflow
Dialogflow (formerly Api.ai, Speaktoit) is a Google-owned developer of human–computer interaction technologies based on natural language conversations. The company is best known for creating the Assistant (by Speaktoit), a virtual buddy for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone smartphones that performs tasks and answers users' question in a natural language. Speaktoit has also created a natural language processing engine that incorporates conversation context like dialogue history, location and user preferences.
In May 2012, Speaktoit received a venture round (funding terms undisclosed) from Intel Capital. In July 2014, Speaktoit closed their Series B funding led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital with participation from new investor Plug and Play Ventures and existing backers Intel Capital and Alpine Technology Fund.In September 2014, Speaktoit released api.ai (the voice-enabling engine that powers Assistant) to third-party developers, allowing the addition of voice interfaces to apps based on Android, iOS, HTML5, and Cordova. The SDK's contain voice recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech. api.ai offers a web interface to build and test conversation scenarios. The platform is based on the natural language processing engine built by Speaktoit for its Assistant application. Api.ai allows Internet of Things developers to include natural language voice interfaces in their products. Assistant and Speaktoit's websites now redirect to api.ai's website, which redirects to the Dialogflow website.
Google bought the company in September 2016 and was initially known as API.AI; it provides tools to developers building apps ("Actions") for the Google Assistant virtual assistant. It was renamed on 10 October 2017 as Dialogflow.The organization discontinued the Assistant app on December 15, 2016.
Voice and conversational interfaces created with Dialogflow works with a wide range of devices including phones, wearables, cars, speakers and other smart devices. It supports 14+ languages including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. Dialogflow supports an array of services that are relevant to entertainment and hospitality industries. Dialogflow also includes an analytics tool that can measure the engagement or session metrics like usage patterns, latency issues, etc.Google Allo
Google Allo was an instant messaging mobile app by Google for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems, with a web client available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
The app uses phone numbers as identifiers, and allows users to exchange messages, files, voice notes and images. It includes a virtual assistant, a feature that generates automatic reply suggestions, and an optional encrypted mode known as incognito mode. Users can resize messages and add doodles and stickers on images before sending them.
Before launch, Google touted strong privacy in the app, with particular emphasis on messages stored "transiently and in non-identifiable form". However, at launch, privacy was significantly rolled back, with Google now keeping logs of messages indefinitely (or until the user deletes messages) in an effort to improve the app's "smart reply" feature.Google Home
Google Home is a brand of smart speakers developed by Google. The first device was announced in May 2016 and released in the United States in November 2016, with subsequent releases globally throughout 2017 and 2018.
Google Home speakers enable users to speak voice commands to interact with services through Google's personal assistant software called Google Assistant. A large number of services, both in-house and third-party, are integrated, allowing users to listen to music, control playback of videos or photos, or receive news updates entirely by voice. Google Home devices also have integrated support for home automation, letting users control smart home appliances with their voice. Multiple Google Home devices can be placed in different rooms in a home for synchronized playback of music. An update in April 2017 brought multi-user support, allowing the device to distinguish between up to six people by voice. In May 2017, Google announced multiple updates to Google Home's functionality, including: free hands-free phone calling in the United States and Canada; proactive updates ahead of scheduled events; visual responses on mobile devices or Chromecast-enabled televisions; Bluetooth audio streaming; and the ability to add reminders and calendar appointments.
The original Google Home has a cylindrical shape with colored status LEDs on the top for visual representation of its status. The cover over its base is modular, with different color options available through the Google Store for matching with home decor. In October 2017, Google announced two additions to the product lineup, the miniature puck-shaped Google Home Mini and the larger Google Home Max. In October 2018, the company released the Google Home Hub, a smart speaker with a touchscreen video display.Google I/O
Google I/O (or simply I/O) is an annual developer conference held by Google in Mountain View, California.
I/O was inaugurated in 2008, and is organized by the executive team. "I/O" stands for input/output, as well as the slogan "Innovation in the Open". The event's format is similar to Google Developer Day.Google Lens
Google Lens is an image recognition mobile app developed by Google. First announced during Google I/O 2017, it is designed to bring up relevant information using visual analysis.Google Now
Google Now was a feature of Google Search of the Google app for Android and iOS. Google Now proactively delivered information to users to predict (based on search habits and other factors) information they may need in the form of informational cards. Google Now branding is no longer used, but the functionality continues in the Google app and its feed.Google first included Google Now in Android 4.1 ("Jelly Bean"), which launched on July 9, 2012, and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone was first to support it. The service became available for iOS on April 29, 2013, without most of its features. In 2014, Google added Now cards to the notification center in Chrome OS and in the Chrome browser. Later, however they removed the notification center entirely from Chrome. Popular Science named Google Now the "Innovation of the Year" for 2012.Since 2015, Google gradually phased out reference to "Google Now" in the Google app, largely removing remaining use of "Now" in October 2016, including replacing Now cards with Feed. At Google I/O 2016, Google showcased its new intelligent personal assistant Google Assistant, in some ways an evolution of Google Now. Unlike Google Now, however, Assistant can engage in two-way dialogue with the user.Google Pixel
Google Pixel is a line of consumer electronic devices developed by Google that run either Chrome OS or the Android operating system. The Pixel brand was introduced in February 2013 with the first-generation Chromebook Pixel. The Pixel line includes laptops, tablets, and smartphones, as well as several accessories.Google Translate
Google Translate is a free multilingual machine translation service developed by Google, to translate text. It offers a website interface, mobile apps for Android and iOS, and an API that helps developers build browser extensions and software applications. Google Translate supports over 100 languages at various levels and as of May 2017, serves over 500 million people daily.
Launched in April 2006 as a statistical machine translation service, it used United Nations and European Parliament transcripts to gather linguistic data. Rather than translating languages directly, it first translates text to English and then to the target language. During a translation, it looks for patterns in millions of documents to help decide on the best translation. Its accuracy has been criticized and ridiculed on several occasions. In November 2016, Google announced that Google Translate would switch to a neural machine translation engine - Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) - which translates "whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar". Originally only enabled for a few languages in 2016, GNMT is gradually being used for more languages.Knowledge Graph
The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources. The information is presented to users in an infobox next to the search results. Knowledge Graph infoboxes were added to Google's search engine in May 2012, starting in the United States, with international expansion by the end of the year. The Knowledge Graph was powered in part by Freebase. The information covered by the Knowledge Graph grew significantly after launch, tripling its size within seven months (covering 570 million entities and 18 billion facts) and answering "roughly one-third" of the 100 billion monthly searches Google processed in May 2016. The Knowledge Graph has been criticized for providing answers without source attribution or citation.
Information from the Knowledge Graph is presented as a box, which Google has referred to as the "knowledge panel", to the right (top on mobile) of search results. According to Google, this information is retrieved from many sources, including the CIA World Factbook, Wikidata, and Wikipedia. In October 2016, Google announced that the Knowledge Graph held over 70 billion facts. There is no official documentation on the technology used for the Knowledge Graph implementation.Information from the Knowledge Graph is used to answer direct spoken questions in Google Assistant and Google Home voice queries.List of Google apps for Android
e Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.Nvidia Shield (set-top box)
The Nvidia Shield (stylized SHIELD), also known as the Shield Android TV or Shield Console, is an Android TV-based digital media player produced by Nvidia as part of its Shield brand of Android devices. First released in May 2015, the Shield is marketed by Nvidia as a microconsole, emphasizing its ability to play downloaded games and stream games from a compatible PC on a local network, or via the GeForce Now subscription service. As with all other Android TV devices, it can also stream content from various sources using apps, and also supports 4K resolution video. It has been distributed in models with either 16 GB of flash storage, or a 500 GB hard drive, the latter branded as Shield Pro.
In 2017, Nvidia released a refreshed version of the 16 GB Shield, which has a smaller form factor that drops MicroSD and infrared support, comes with an updated controller, and is otherwise identical in hardware to the original model.Pixel (smartphone)
Pixel and Pixel XL are Android smartphones designed, developed and marketed by Google. They were announced during a press event on October 4, 2016, and serve as the first smartphones in the Google Pixel hardware line, succeeding the Nexus line of smartphones. On October 4, 2017, they were succeeded by the second-generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
The Pixels have an aluminium chassis, with a glass panel on the rear, a USB-C connector, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a 12.3 megapixel rear-facing camera. At launch, the devices featured certain exclusive software features, including the 7.1 "Nougat" update to the Android operating system, integration with the Google Assistant intelligent personal assistant, live technical support services, and unlimited full-resolution Google Photos backup for the life of the device.
The Pixels received mixed reviews. They were called "the best Android phones you can buy" and received praise for camera quality and performance. However, they were criticised for their high prices and lack of waterproofing, and some critics noted design similarities to Apple's iPhone. The Pixels have suffered from a variety of issues after release, including excessive optical lens flare in pictures captured through the rear camera, connectivity issues with some mobile data bands, unstable Bluetooth connections, unexpected battery shutdowns, and failing microphones. Google has acknowledged and released fixes for most of the issues.Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant or intelligent personal assistant is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on verbal commands. Sometimes the term "chatbot" is used to refer to virtual assistants generally or specifically accessed by online chat (or in some cases online chat programs that are exclusively for entertainment purposes). Some virtual assistants are able to interpret human speech and respond via synthesized voices. Users can ask their assistants questions, control home automation devices and media playback via voice, and manage other basic tasks such as email, to-do lists, and calendars with verbal commands. As of 2017, the capabilities and usage of virtual assistants are expanding rapidly, with new products entering the market and a strong emphasis on voice user interfaces. Apple and Google have large installed bases of users on smartphones. Microsoft has a large installed base of Windows-based personal computers, smartphones and smart speakers. Amazon has a large install base for smart speakers.Wear OS
Wear OS, also known as Wear OS by Google and previously called Android Wear, is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables. By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 4.3 or newer, or iOS version 8.2 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application, Wear OS integrates Google Assistant technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.
Wear OS supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Released devices include Motorola Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and the Samsung Gear Live. Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar and TAG Heuer, Mobvoi.In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped. As of 15 March 2018, Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations. Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smart watch market in 2015.
|Firmware and controls|