Wired: Google’s New Interpreter Mode Translates Your Conversation. “…Google is trying to outsource another human-to-human interaction: the kind that occurs between a person who works in hospitality and a guest who speaks a different language. A new feature in Google Assistant, called Interpreter Mode, turns the virtual assistant into a real-time language translator between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space. It starts rolling out today on Google-powered smart displays and smart speakers.”
TechCrunch: Google Assistant is coming to Google Maps today . “We’ve known for a while now that Google Assistant (the company’s voice-powered AI, à la Siri or Alexa) would eventually be built right into Google Maps. They announced as much at Google I/O 2018, noting at the time that they were aiming for a summer launch. It didn’t happen by summer, but Google says it’s happening today. An update should be rolling out shortly, enabling Assistant within Google Maps on both Android and iOS.”
CNET: Google at CES 2019: Everything just announced. “CES, the world’s largest technology conference, is more important to Google than ever as it pushes devices to consumers that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Samsung. At the center of Google’s strategy is the Assistant, an AI-powered digital helper that’s akin to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. It’s available in Android phones, Google Home smart speakers, other smart home devices, and as an app on iPhones.”
File this under “Oh, why not,” from Hackaday: Google Assistant, Now Available On Ham Radio. “Depending on who you talk to, Google Assistant is either a tool capable of quickly and clearly answering audio queries in natural langauge, or a noisier and less useful version of Wolfram Alpha. [William Franzin] decided it would be particularly cool to make the service available over ham radio – and that’s exactly what he did.” Lots of comments.
TechCrunch: GE adds a bunch of Google Assistant-friendly smart home products . “At the Pixel 3 event back in October, the company announced that its C by GE bulbs were the first to carry Made by Google certification with Home functionality built-in right out of the box. At CES this year, the company will show a bunch more products, effectively tripling the size of the C by GE line. In addition to the standard bulbs announced in the fall, the company’s also releasing full color lights with millions of color options, available in a handful of configurations, including a lighting strip.”
Slashgear: Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up. “Loup Ventures has published its annual smart speaker IQ test results, revealing how the four big personal assistant AIs performed when asked 800 questions each. Compared to the previous year, three products saw the biggest gain in IQ points and were able to answer a substantially higher percentage of questions versus 2017. However, Google Assistant still beat them all across the board.”
TechCrunch: The Google Assistant can now alert you of potential flight delays . “If you’re an experienced traveler, you know that plenty of your delays are due to your plane being stuck somewhere else or because the weather at your local or arrival airport isn’t ideal (I’m looking at you, fogged-in SFO in the morning). So you also know to check on your incoming flight, even when the airline tells you everything is fine, and the FAA’s airspace status pages. But maybe you are not a frequent flier (be glad and rejoice) or don’t care to go through that process. In that case, you’ll be happy to hear that Google today announced that its Assistant will soon proactively notify you on your phone when its algorithms predict that your flight will be late.”