At the already feature-heavy I/O 2016, Google unveiled a new virtual assistant tool called simply Google Assistant. What’s surprising is the lack of a more personal name, such as the competition – Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana and Amazon has Alexa.
The Assistant broadens on what we already know as Google Now. CEO Sundar Pichai introduced the tool as “a conversational assistant” that can carry on “an ongoing two-way dialogue”. Assistant has been honed by years of building an already extensive knowledge base from Google Now and other cross-collected data from other apps.
It will be present in the Allo app and the Google Home device and will be able to understand follow up queries, perform complex operations and even manage your daily routine and media. In Allo, it communicates via text while using voice in the Home device.
With this and the other announcements made at I/O 2016, Google aims to use the incredible power behind its search engine and AI advancements to alleviate us from performing most of our daily mundane tasks. It has to compete with many already established names such as Alexa from Amazon, the Hound assistant and even Facebook’s M, a chat bot running in its messaging application. Once it does succeed however, Google Assistant could become the leader in the upcoming AI arms race to become the best consumer virtual secretary.