Google promises a smarter and smaller AI assistant

The assistant will be able to book cars and tickets using online forms on Android phones

Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the company’s annual developer conference Tuesday with updates to Google’s artificially intelligent voice assistant. It will get a series of updates this year, including one that lets it book rental cars and movie tickets.

Google says its assistant will be able to book cars and tickets using online forms on Android phones later this year. The technology behind this, called Duplex, was released to much fanfare last year when Google demonstrated it making a call to book a restaurant reservation.

READ MORE: Facebook tweaks tools for remembering dead friends

The Google Assistant will also get shrunk down so that it can work directly on a phone, eliminating the need to communicate with Google’s cloud servers to understand some commands. The phone-only capability will be available on new Pixel phones later this year.

The AI is also learning to offer more personal suggestions to users by learning common contact names and addresses.

Pichai also reiterated his intention to come up with more features to help make people’s lives easier. The pledge made Tuesday before a crowd of about 7,000 computer programmers is part of Pichai’s efforts to diversify Google beyond its roots as a search engine.

Google’s search engine remains the main way that the company makes billions of dollars annually by selling digital ads that are targeted at the interests that people reveal through their search requests.

Google is expected to unveil several other products and other features during the conference, known as I/O, in Mountain View.

Rachel Lerman And Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Ucluelet Aquarium wraps up season with release day event

Residents help release charismatic critters on Dec. 7.

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Surfrider Pacific Rim hopes unique wetsuit recycling program stays local to the Coast

“We really want to see someone locally or regionally take this on and use this material locally.”

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read