New Google Assistant is faster, smarter, can turn your car's A/C on remotely

Peter, 07 May 2019

Google has revealed the next generation Assistant, which is faster and more capable. Тhere's a new Driving mode and even a feature to turn on your car's A/C while it's still parked. Google Duplex is coming to the web and there are cool enhancements to Search as well. But first things first.

Google Assistant currently works in the cloud - there's 100GB worth of neural networks that handle voice recognition and language understanding. The engineers managed to compress this to just half a gigabyte, so Assistant can work entirely on the phone.

The key benefit of this (besides improved privacy) is that voice recognition is nearly instantaneous as there's no round-trip to the cloud. This will be felt most in cases of poor network connectivity. Google says Assistant will be 10 times faster with this new feature.

This enhances the Continued Conversation feature as it eliminates the unnatural pauses between commands. With CC, you can ask Assistant to open the gallery and send a photo to your friend, without using "Hey, Google" before every command. And you can just say "send it" and Assistant will know what "it" is and who to send it to. Check out the demo below:

The next-gen Assistant is coming to new Pixel phones later this year.

Driving mode triggers automatically when you connect to your car's Bluetooth (or you can say "Hey Google, let's drive"). This mode shows a streamlined view of relevant locations (e.g. your restaurant reservation from the Calendar), contacts, music, podcasts and so on. You can also accept and decline calls with a voice command.

As for navigation, the Google Assistant is already available in Maps and in a few weeks, it will work in Waze too.

There's a cool new remote control feature that will launch in a few months. No, it won't steer the car, but you can turn on the A/C and check the fuel level or that the doors are locked. Initially, cars with Hyundai’s “Blue Link” and Mercedes-Benz’s “Mercedes me connect” will be supported.

What if you don't have a car? Simple, just ask Duplex to rent you one. This will work on web pages, automatically filling in trip details (based on info from Gmail) and payment details (from Chrome). Duplex on the web will launch later this year in the US and the UK and will also be able to buy you movie tickets.

If you're using the Google Assistant on a smart display, in a few months you'll find a "You" tab in the Settings. This will display all the info that Assistant knows about you, so you can add more or delete what you don't want it to know.

This info will help it better understand your commands, including relatively complicated ones like "remind me to order flowers a week before my sister’s birthday".

There's more, Google Search on mobile is going beyond simple image search. Later this month Google will roll out AR capability, so you'll be able to view animated 3D models through the camera viewfinder (models will be supplied by the likes of NASA, Samsung, Volvo and others).

Google Lens is getting upgraded too. You'll be able to point it to a printed restaurant menu and it will tell you which dishes are popular. And if the menu lacks pictures of the food, Lens will show you photos and reviews.

To extend its reach, Google is bringing Lens to the Go suite of apps - at just 100KB, it can run on phones as cheap as $50 and it can help people cross language barriers (as well as find a tasty meal).

Source 1 | Source 2


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Reader comments

then Skynet is imminent.... LMAO... but Skynet's inevitable if we play a God's game.... it'll be only time till all AI will be self-aware....

  • s-pen pusher

i meant ai or the google assistant itself getting smarter and doing things you did not tell it to do, given that you have tons of information stored in your google services.

  • Hmm

They trying anything to get into your life whether you want it or not....with pointless crap.....