The 3 biggest announcements from the Google i/o 2019 keynote.(My take)
For a dream that was born on the eve of the 4th of September 1994,its amazing to see how Google has continuously stayed true to the vision upon which her first walls were raised. The Vision to capture,store,analyse and organize the world’s information and make it accessible in a way that increases knowledge and helps humans in the pursuit of success,happiness and good health.
The Google i/o event is an annual developers conference where Google announces new software, hardware and a number of updates for their existing applications and services. Since 2008, they have consistently kept tech enthusiast around the world completely star struck at what often comes next from every Mountain view event. In 2019, something more than more was given as thousands of people witnessed the unveiling of what now promises to be the biggest revolution on virtual assistants and AI integration. For all of us at LearnFactory Nigeria,we joined a host of many more others to witness the extended event at Aba, Nigeria and for that privilege, we shall forever remain grateful.
Google opened the day by handing the DJ booth over to its AI, which took turns mixing tunes with a human. At that point, It quickly dawned on me that the day would certainly focus more on the very many ways Google employs to integrate its technology in the real world. By the end of the session,i realized how right i was as every successive presentation made me realize how deep and dependent on AI our futures might become.
According to the keynote speech by the Google CEO, Mr. Sundar Pichai, it seems to me that for some obvious but yet to confront reasons, Google seems to have a panopticon view into our private lives and for those reasons, Google is hoping you would not mind. Google’s pitch could be interpreted to mean that its new products would be irresistibly useful by “giving you the tools to increase your knowledge, success, health, and happiness,” and for them,this means that, we all could simply let Google into our lives regardless of the ever growing concerns on privacy that comes with it. After all, Google cares about us and has got our privacy and security at heart. Of course they do!
2019 certainly brought us more updates and features from the 2018 experience and for me, here are what i consider the 3 biggest announcements from Mountain view.
ANDROID WILL SOON OFFER LIVE SUBTITLES ON ALL VIDEOS
Live caption is coming on all videos and it doesn’t really matter what video you are watching. whether it’s on your camera roll, on an app / the web, or even video chats, Google can soon begin adding subtitles to what is being said right underneath.
The company says it’s built this for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but some people might also use this when they’re watching videos in public and want to keep the volume low or while they’re on a call but the truth is that in a country like Nigeria, this could mean a full doze of comedy.
For instance, how does google expect to have subtitles on all the collection of words that exists in our local parlance that tend to have different interpretations depending on vocal pronunciation or the tone tensor of the speaker. for instance, in igbo, the word “obi” is both for a male name and the heart and so, depending on the vocal sound of the speaker, “obi" could mean the heart or a name and so in this case, what does the live caption really say?
Its quite true that while machine learning and AI offer a promising insight into what may be possible,the prospects of a full development and integration of this new promising field may still be a decade out. But then, i never fail to remind myself that this is Google!.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF ASSISTANTS ARE HERE:
DUPLEX IS COMING TO THE WEB
At I/O 2018, Google kept us on our toes with our wonder camp caving in when it showed off Duplex, an AI based assistant that handles mundane tasks like making dinner reservations or making a hair dressing appointment by phone on your behalf.
This year, that technology has now expanded to the web as it will now help you do even much more on the web thereby saving you time on the go and ensuring that you do not miss the next appointment with your doctor.
So, lets say you are planning to go on a vacation at your favorite resort and at the same time you do not have time to go on the internet to book a reservation at your favorite hotel. well, with Duplex, its no problems at all as all you need do is simply instruct the google duplex assistant to do so on your behalf all via a simple voice command and almost like a flash of instant, Duplex begins filling out all the required web documents with your exact complete details thereby saving you precious time.
And so,do you want to book a rental car? Google Assistant can find your emailed flight reservation, and then pick out the time, place, pickup location, and model you’ll likely want the car to be and all this done seamlessly on the web and all you have to do is just tap a button to confirm.
Sending texts or emails to mom, dad, or “my” doctor? Personal References means Google figures out exactly who you mean among your friends, families, and acquaintances to make the connection (or even hold conversations on your behalf).
Take together, today’s announcements point to a future where we’ll never need to leave Google behind, and we may not mind.
If you ask me, i think we really would not mind after-all.
AUGMENTED REALITY IN GOOGLE SEARCH AND GOOGLE LENS
Although the Google lens is already considered super cool, its new improved capabilities, all thanks to improvements in AI has made it a more powerful windmill when it comes to search. Also worthy of credit is the more than 20 years research which the google team has put into the development of more accurate text to speech and language translate programs.
In 2019 and beyond, search experience are about to hit a whole new level of wow as new improvements on the Google lens can now enable users do searches via their phone camera. Let me try to bring this into clearer perspective.
Imagine that you are a student who is trying to conduct a research on marine sharks and their physiological mechanisms. As at today, the images/videos you get when you search for ,let say , ‘great white sharks’ would simply be 2D but guess what,with the new improved features, you would now be able to view the same shark image/video search results in 3D-AR for a more complete picture of this massive animal. In same vein, what this means is that if you own a Pixel phone, you can now enjoy AR-powered walking directions on Google maps.
The last time i bought a merchandise from one of the big e-commerce websites in Nigeria,i only realized that the product was not all that the image had promised it would be when i got the delivery, thanks to this new feature, i would be able to actually view my next order in 3D if all things remain sane.
Also,lets say ,like me ,you do not speak the South African Zulu language and lets say that by a hard luck or chance you happened to stumble upon a security prescription that has been written in Zulu while on a vacation in South Africa. Thanks to the new improved lens features ,you can now simply hover your lens above the writings or take an image of the writing and watch the text translations appear almost instantly.
If that was amazing, well then, what would you rather say if you were told or suddenly made to feel that actually tapping on your mobile as a means for operating is actually one hell of a slow way to do it no matter how fast your fingers may seem on the light keypad or screen.
Well, it seems to me that in the decade that is coming, new google innovations could gift every Android mobile user two seeming ways of operating our precious devices ; one way shall be clever while the other shall be considered crude.The smarter way would be to simply use voice command prompts to navigate through your mobile phone and whether it is to send a mail to your friend Mark or upload a particular image on your favorite social media platform, all you need do is simply talk to your mobile, all thanks to the new improved Google virtual assistants. And did i fail to mention that there would be:
No more “Hey Google”
It was always a bit of a hassle to utter “Hey Google” before issuing a command. So Google dropped it. For alarms, you can now just say “stop” to shut off the alarm for all devices. To text, you can simply issue commands and Assistant is able to differentiate between the message content and the command (it wasn’t possible to really evaluate it based on its performance on stage). As the voice assistant wars heat up, the ability to seamlessly weave those digital helpers into users’ normal speech patterns might be the deciding factor in who wins, but whatever the race is about for Google, Amazon and other tech giants, it appears that our future from where i stand could already be seen as the common place reality in most present day Hollywood science fiction blockbuster movies, but whatever the case , i am sure we would be ready for the future that we must now approach with caution and enthusiasm.