Google launched its first-ever virtual assistant for its Allo messaging app yesterday, that will enable e-Commerce tasks such as buying a ticket to the footy or making a dinner reservation at your favourite restaurant.
Google Assistant has arrived a bit later amongst the competition, to create a more personal and lucrative way for humans and computers to interact.
Google’s new virtual assistant, uses artificial intelligence tools, including voice recognition and natural-language processing, to answer questions and deliver various tasks.
Even though Google has entered the digital assistant game a bit later than its rivals, it may have some distinct advantages. Google Assistant is trained with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as deep learning, that the company say they’ve been researching for years. Google’s digital assistant works intuitively as it learns its users tastes, patterns and preferences.
Google Assistant also executes tasks that brings it into the e-commerce space, opposing Amazon’s Alexa. Not only can Google Assistant make movie suggestions based on what films you’ve liked before, it will offer up movie reviews and book the tickets for you. Fancy dinner at your favourite restaurant on Friday night? Just tell Google Assistant and it will make a reservation for you.
Although Google say they have nothing planned on the advertising side yet, there is some massive revenue-earning potential here.
“This is a new gateway to the internet, to advertising, to e-Commerce, so market share here is worth trillions of dollars over time to Google and its competitors,” head of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Oren Etzioni told Bloomberg.
Next month will see Google’s virtual assistant appear in all new Android smartphones, Google’s Home internet-connected speaker and in devices made by other companies such as smartwatches and cars, according to Google executive, Nick Fox. Google’s vision is to have the assistant with you everywhere you go, not just on your smartphone or at home.
With security being increasingly highlighted as a concern for technology and e-Commerce consumers, conversations with Google’s virtual assistant are saved onto users’ online Google accounts, which they can erase at any time.
Google flourished in the PC period by creating a search engine that grew quickly to become the dominant information portal on the web, with relevant ads and billions of dollars in profit following this.
The introduction of the smartphone then provided an opportunity for its counterparts to challenge Google’s dominant role in web ads-revenue space. Apple’s Siri was rolled out in 2011, allowing billions of people around the globe to interact with their iPhone by speaking to it. Amazon’s Alexa was unveiled in 2014, and is already taking verbal orders and requests from its millions of Echo in-home users. Microsoft launched its virtual assistant Cortana to Windows last year and Facebook is currently building its own artificial intelligence assistant.
Interestingly, Google hasn’t named its virtual assistant a human-like name, in comparison with Alexa, Siri and Cortana. Google says this is because Google Assistant will conform to its individual user and their tastes, with technology such as deep learning. For example, you can say “My favourite football team is the Saints, St Kilda” and it will reply “Ok I will remember that.” Later on, you can ask “What’s the score of my favourite football team?” and it will send you the results of the latest St Kilda game.