This Wednesday, Google hosted its annual I/O conference to connect thousands of developers. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, outlined their new strategy that will allow them to transition to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Their goal is to dominate the industry and have machines anticipate users’ needs by comprehending sights and sounds never before possible.
Pichai talked last year about the importance of shifting from mobile first to AI first. Since then, Google’s deep learning and computer vision capabilities have dramatically advanced and now impact everything from the cloud to Gmail and search. They believe that by applying machine learning they can quickly solve human problems.
One major advancement is in Google’s Lens technology which will become a part of Google Assistant and Google Photos. This technology essentially allows users to convert their smartphones into intelligent devices. For example, users could point their phone cameras toward a restaurant storefront and receive information about its cuisine and ratings.
Google’s machine learning software TensorFlow is giving users an accessible framework from grappling with their algorithms. In 2015, it was made available for everyone to use as open-source software. Since then, it’s been embrace by the AI community and is used to create custom tools for a whole range of industries.
After last year’s launch of Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), a custom hardware for machine learning, Google announced the next generation of TPUs are optimized for training and inference. Each board has four chips and each board is capable of 180 trillion floating point operation per second. TPUs are designed for data centers and are coming to Google Computer Engines immediately.
The new Google Assistant will allow third-party manufacturers to make their products. This service will also be available for the iPhone putting it in direct competition with Apple’s Siri. Assistant will be available in multiple languages stating this summer. It will be able to support transactions including receipts, notifications, IDs and more.
Google Home plans to launch internationally and effective immediately, Google Home supports proactive assistant like reminders, traffic delays and flight status changes. Over the next few months more features will roll out including hands-free calling, new entertainment services such as Spotify, and Bluetooth support from any audio device.
Google believes they have a competitive advantage over the major competition such as Microsoft and Amazon because they possess more data. In order for AI capabilities to grow in need large data sets. They are also putting huge amounts of resources into AI focus that will push them further ahead of the competition. Google has made strategic moves to ensure the software is widely used.