Google’s developer conference kicks off tomorrow in Mountain View, Calif. One of the expected announcements, according to a Bloomberg report, is the expansion of AI and the Google Assistant to a range of other devices, including the iPhone:
At the Google I/O conference this week, the Alphabet Inc. unit plans to bring it to at least three more places: iPhones, coffee tables and kitchens. The Mountain View, California-based company is set to announce a version of its AI-powered assistant for Apple Inc.’s iPhone as soon as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The report says that it will be presented as a “free, standalone app” that can be downloaded from the App Store. It’s not clear whether it will be an update of the Google app or a new app called Google Assistant. The report also says that it will integrate with other Google apps installed on users’ iPhones.
Google’s Photos app will reportedly also be enhanced with more AI capabilities (it already has the Assistant baked in). Google will also enable the creation of physical “coffee table books” through the app.
Perhaps most interesting is the expected integration of the Google Assistant into home appliances made by GE:
Google is also integrating its Assistant into GE home appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers. Users will be able to ask the Assistant how many cleaning pods are left in the dishwasher, or tell it to pre-heat the oven to 350F, or ask if the laundry is clean.
Samsung is likely to do something similar with its Assistant, Bixby. Bixby may be partly or wholly based on acquisition Viv. The battle for the smart home is well underway.
Last week, AI was also front and center at Microsoft’s developer conference. The company said that AI was being integrated into all of its products, from Office to the XBox.
If the Bloomberg report is accurate (and I presume it is), the Google Assistant will join Cortana in seeking to lure users away from Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. While Siri has a built-in advantage over rivals, literally, Google Assistant on the iPhone puts additional pressure on Apple to improve Siri’s performance.
In a recent Stone Temple Consulting analysis, Google Assistant was found to be the most comprehensive and accurate vs. Alexa, Siri and Cortana.
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