Today we will talk about a Google service and an update which releases new tools and capabilities. The service we will be talking about is Google Assistant.
First of all, what is Google Assistant (GA)? It is an Artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant. Similarly, to Apple's Siri. You can do multiple things with the assistant, such as launch apps, ask questions, make plans, and playing games. One of the features that distinguish it from other voice assistants, is that you can choose the voice of the assistant.
By using the phrase “OK, Google” you activate the voice recognition. After the triggering message, it will ask you something like “how can I help you today” and there you can introduce your command or your question.
Some basic questions are mostly asked, such as "What is the weather like today?" or "What is the latest news". The questions can be more general like weather or business-related, but you can certainly ask specific questions to receive specific answers, such as "How much traffic is there to get to X destination" For more information, you can browse the GA blog and look for the most asked questions.
Google assistant has made large efforts to improve natural language recognition. The idea of this improvement is to make AI understand as much as a person would. The idea is for GA to be able to answer commands and even hold a full conversation.
Another GA function is to connect to apps and services of your mobile device. You can ask your assistant to set a reminder, and it will connect with the calendar. Reminders are specific today and time. You can ask to show pictures and to show pictures where some specific person appears (using face recognition).
You can also ask email-related questions and GA browses and retrieves information from your mailbox. GA connects directly to supported smart home devices, this making GA a smart home device too. You can ask GA to play music and it will open your music app such as Spotify.
What does this update add to the service? More than one feature and these are Web-based consoles, Updated APIs, Home Storage, Continuous Match, and Smart display AMP.
The web-based console helps by providing a builder that simplifies development. Developers can use the online IDE and they can build test and deploy all in one window.
The main API update of this release is the Media API.
Home storage allows developers to access information that is kept in household devices. You can access information from one device and sync it with all other devices.
The service counts with a continuous Match mode. Improving the assistant's ability to act as similarly as possible to a human assistant. GA now announces to the user that it keeps the microphone on after the user finishes speaking.
Smart displays had been introduced. The displays can be from Google or any technological third-party such as Lenovo or JBL. It works with IoT device control, making possible the display of information.
One very used function of GA is the Good morning routine. When you wake up, you tell GA "good morning" and GA gives you an accurate descriptive report about your day. You can set up what to include such as calendar events, commute, and reminders, among others. You can also set up "good night" routines, "I'm home" routines "commuting to work" routines, and "commuting to home" routines. All of these routines work like standpoints that generate key information for the user.
Another new feature introduced in this update is Duplex. Duplex is a completely automated with human voice call assistant. It can help you make restaurant reservations, salon appointments, or any specific call you might need to do. Duplex talks to the person on the other side of the phone for you.
You can tell GA to set up a reservation by saying "OK, Google"- "Make a dinner reservation". The assistant then shows you nearby restaurants. Before making the call, GA asks you all the relevant information such as how many people are attending, for what time, and for what day. GA tells the person on the other side of the phone that it's Google's Assistant assisting somebody.
In conclusion, Google's Assistant launched new capabilities and tools to help the average person. As a developer, you might want to check the documentation as it is currently accepting many devices. The new release is made up of a Web-based console, Updated APIs, Home Storage, Continuous Match, and Smart display AMP. There is also a human voice calling service called Duplex which helps you make automated calls to make reservations. Google Assistant can be used for many causes, from gaming to making questions to connecting apps. One interesting development angle is their offered APIs.