Even more artificial intelligence and a common cause with Samsung

The Internet group presents its latest ideas: It’s about better dialogue systems, the video conference on the future – and a watch cooperation against Apple.

Turned Google into an “AI First” company: Sundar Pichai

NAlmost lifelike video conferencing and software that can hold a conversation: Both are technologies that the Internet company Google wants to use to shape the future. At the same time, during its developer conference, the company gave an outlook on the next version of the Android smartphone system and presented new functions for protecting privacy in its services.

This includes the option of deleting the search query history for the past 15 minutes. In addition, you will be able to set up individual folders with password protection in the photo app – for example for taking pictures of documents. These functions were largely developed at Google’s Munich location.

In view of the corona pandemic, the Internet group is organizing the Google I / O conference in an online format this year. Unlike many other such events, the presentation was not pre-recorded, but broadcast live on Tuesday from a small stage between the company’s headquarters in California.

With Samsung against Apple

Google put a special focus on advances in the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The “Lamda” software, which can have a conversation with a person, was demonstrated. The answers are not given, but are generated by the program on the basis of existing information, stressed Google boss Sundar Pichai. Google presented two examples of a dialogue: The software first slipped into the role of the planet Pluto and then a paper airplane. She answered questions about whether there have already been visitors to the planet or how far the paper airplane has flown before.

The dialogue technology is still being researched, but over time it should be incorporated into various products such as the voice assistant Google Assistant, said Pichai. The group wants to make its knowledge of the world as a whole more and more usable through language. In the future, for example, it should be sufficient to tell the map service that you would like to take a route with a beautiful view of mountains to your destination, so that an appropriate route can be selected.

Artificial intelligence is also used in “Project Starline”, with which Google wants to revolutionize video conversations. With the system, people and lighting conditions are recorded by more than a dozen cameras and sensors. The images are transferred to newly developed screens that are supposed to reproduce details in a particularly realistic manner.

Better photo software

A journalist from the “Wired” magazine, who was able to test the system in advance, confirmed the impression that the person you were talking to was sitting across from you. At the same time, the effect diminishes as soon as you do not look at the display from the right place, which limits it. According to Google, the technology has been worked on for several years – and more years of development are needed.

In the next version, the dominant smartphone system Android will get, among other things, improved data protection settings and greater personalization, including in terms of appearance.

Meanwhile, in the computer watch business, Google and Samsung are teaming up to better compete with the market leader Apple Watch. Samsung will no longer equip its next smartwatches with the in-house Tizen operating system, but will switch to Google’s Wear OS platform. At the same time, Wear with Tizen elements is to be further developed into an overarching system.

Wear OS is an offshoot of Android for computer watches. Just like Android, it is freely available to manufacturers and has been well received by suppliers of so-called fashion watches such as Fossil, among others. But unlike Android, it couldn’t conquer the market – the Apple Watch has been in the lead since its launch in 2015.

As a further innovation, Google announced that the photo software will in the future better recognize dark skin tones when editing images. In the office program platform Workspace, the individual applications are more closely interlinked and should enable better collaborative work on projects.

The developer conferences of Facebook and Apple will follow in the coming weeks, also in an online format. For the tech giants, the annual events are traditionally an important opportunity to provide insight into their strategy. Usually thousands of software developers and journalists come to Silicon Valley for this. In view of the corona pandemic, the corporations have to switch to online events for the second year in a row.