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Google Assistant is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Google and announced at Google I/O in May 2016. Unlike Google Now, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.

Google Assistant
Google Assistant logo.png
Developer(s) Google
Initial release 2016 (2016)
Development status Active
Operating system Android and iOS
Available in English, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish, French[1], Canadian French[2]
Type Intelligent personal assistant
Website assistant.google.com

Assistant initially debuted as part of Google's messaging app Allo, and its voice-activated speaker Google Home. After a period of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it began to be deployed on Android platforms in February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear. In April 2017, a software development kit was released, allowing third-party developers to build their own hardware featuring the Google Assistant.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Google Assistant was unveiled during Google's developer conference on May 18, 2016, as part of the unveiling of the Google Home smart speaker and new messaging app Allo; Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained that Assistant was designed to be a conversational and two-way experience, and "an ambient experience that extends across devices".[3] Later that month, Google assigned Google Doodle leader Ryan Germick and hired former Pixar animator Emma Coats to develop "a little more of a personality."[4]

For system-level integration outside of the Allo app and Google Home, Google Assistant was initially exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.[5] In February 2017, Google announced that it had begun to enable access to Assistant on Android smartphones running Android Marshmallow or Nougat, beginning in selected English-speaking markets.[6][7] Android tablets will not be receiving the Assistant as part of this rollout.[8][9] The Assistant is integrated in Android Wear 2.0,[10] and will be included in future versions of Android TV[11] and Android Auto.[12]

In December 2016, Google launched Actions on Google, a developer platform for the Google Assistant. Actions on Google further enhances the Assistant user experience by enabling developers to bring their services to the Assistant.[13][14] In March 2017, Google added new tools for developing on Actions on Google to support the creation of games for Google Assistant.[15] In April 2017, a software development kit (SDK) was released, allowing third-party developers to build their own hardware that can run the Google Assistant.[16][17]

In May 2017, Google and the creators of Raspberry Pi teamed up to deliver voice control to its series of small computers. A new hardware component called the Voice HAT (Hardware Accessory on Top) lets Raspberry Pi owners add stereo microphones to the devices, that feature the Google Assistant. After initial set-up, developers can use their Raspberry Pi devices for voice commands.[18][19] Later in the month, Google announced a partnership with car manufacturers Audi and Volvo to ship car systems running the Android operating system. The new system will also embed the Google Assistant for searching on the go, asking for directions, and making phone calls. Patrick Brady, a vice president of engineering for Android, said the system will make its way to Audi and Volvo's entire fleets, along with other manufacturers.[20][21] Google also announced that the Google Assistant would be coming to the iOS operating system as a separate app.[22][23]

InteractionEdit

Google Assistant, in the nature and manner of Google Now, can pull information, check weather, etc. Unlike its brethren, however, it can engage in a two-way conversation, using Google's natural language processing algorithm. Search results are presented in card format that users can tap to open the page.[24]

Google Assistant can maintain a shopping list; this was previously done within the notetaking service Google Keep, but this feature was moved to Google Express and the Google Home app in April 2017, resulting in a severe loss of functionality enabled by its hosting through Google Keep.[25][26]

Google assistant also features mini-applications that adds even more functionality than previously possible as third party developers are able to add their own artificial intelligence to the platform. The assistant can also roll dice with any number of sides even if real world equivalents do not exist.

ReceptionEdit

PC World's Mark Hachman gave a favorable review of Google Assistant, saying that it was a "step up on Cortana and Siri".[27]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Martonik, Andrew (May 9, 2017). "Google Assistant inside Allo can now converse in French and Spanish". Android Central. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ Bonifacic, Igor (May 9, 2017). "Assistant in Google Allo now supports French Canadian". MOBILESYRUP.COM. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ Lynley, Matthew (May 18, 2016). "Google unveils Google Assistant, a virtual assistant that's a big upgrade to Google Now". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ de Looper, Christian (May 31, 2016). "Google wants to make its next personal assistant more personable by giving it a childhood". Digital Trends. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  5. ^ Savov, Vlad (October 4, 2016). "Pixel 'phone by Google' announced". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ Bohn, Dieter (February 26, 2017). "The Google Assistant is coming to Marshmallow and Nougat Android phones starting this week". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (February 26, 2017). "Google Assistant, its AI-based personal helper, rolls out to Nougat and Marshmallow handsets". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ El Khoury, Rita (March 16, 2017). "Google confirms wider Assistant rollout will not reach tablets". Android Police. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (March 16, 2017). "Android tablets aren't getting Google Assistant anytime soon". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  10. ^ Amadeo, Ron (January 17, 2017). "Report: Android Wear 2.0 to launch February 9". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ Ingraham, Nathan (January 4, 2017). "The Google Assistant is coming to Android TV". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  12. ^ Amadeo, Ron (February 26, 2017). "Google Assistant comes to every Android phone, 6.0 and up". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  13. ^ Miller, Paul (October 4, 2016). "Google Assistant will open up to developers in December with 'Actions on Google'". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  14. ^ Low, Cherlynn (December 8, 2016). "Google opens up its Assistant actions to developers". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  15. ^ Vemuri, Sunil (March 30, 2017). "Game developers rejoice—new tools for developing on Actions on Google". Google Developers Blog. Google. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  16. ^ Amadeo, Ron (April 27, 2017). "The Google Assistant SDK will let you run the Assistant on anything". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ Bohn, Dieter (April 27, 2017). "Anybody can make a Google Assistant gadget with this new toolkit". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  18. ^ Gordon, Scott Adam (May 4, 2017). "Google voice control comes to the Raspberry Pi via new DIY kit". Android Authority. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  19. ^ Vincent, James (May 4, 2017). "You can now use Google's AI to add voice commands to your Raspberry Pi". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  20. ^ Gurman, Mark; Bergen, Mark (May 15, 2017). "Google Wants Android and Its Assistant to Power Your Car Too". Bloomberg Technology. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  21. ^ O'Kane, Sean (May 15, 2017). "Audi and Volvo will use Android as the operating system in upcoming cars". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ Garun, Natt (May 17, 2017). "Hey Siri, Google Assistant is on the iPhone now". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  23. ^ Dillet, Romain (May 17, 2017). "Google launches Google Assistant on the iPhone". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  24. ^ Purewal, Sarah Jacobsson (October 4, 2016). "The difference between Google Now and Google Assistant". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Google ruins the Assistant's shopping list, turns it into a big Google Express ad". Ars Technica. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  26. ^ "Google Assistant's shopping lists are moving to the Home app today". The Verge. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  27. ^ Hachman, Mark (September 22, 2016). "Hands-on: Google Assistant's Allo chatbot outdoes Cortana, Siri as your digital pal". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved March 17, 2017.