Google I/O 2018 – Future is AI

This week was Google’s annual developer conference and during the keynote Google demonstrated that they are not moving away from AI like that seen in the Google Assistant.  In fact I would say they are going full speed ahead as it is becoming part of everything they do.  Here is a quick recap of some of the most important announcements.  The event was live streamed this year as normal.

Live stream of Google IO event.


First off, they announced new voices for the popular AI Google assistant, up to 10 that are available now, but more coming soon.  In fact there will even be the option for celebrity voices such as John Legend coming soon.


One of the most impressive announcements which has left some people concerned is that of Google Duplex.  Google Duplex is a new feature that will come to Google Assistant allowing it to make phone calls for you and carry on a conversation with a store.  In the demo on stage the assistant called a hair salon and booked an appointment for a women’s haircut.  The person on the other end of the phone had no idea they were talking to a computer as it even pretends to be human, using “ums” and pauses during speech.  Many have been questioning if technology like this should be required to inform the other party that they are not real.


Another place that AI was shown off was in an upgrade for the Gmail autocomplete.  With this new feature turned on (its available now) gmail is able to help autocomplete your sentences and its almost scary how accurate it is.  Gmail looks at the subject and what you have already typed to suggest completions to your sentences similar to how it would when searching in Google.  If you like what its suggesting just hit the TAB key and it fills it in for you.


Of course we also say the release of Android P beta, with a new focus on “digital wellbeing”.  This is Googles attempt at helping us manage our screen time by first off showing us where we spend our time in a new dashboard.  It then goes further introducing tools to help us put our digital like on a break, or set limits for ourselves.


We are seeing more AI in Google photos as well as they introduce a new colour options that can add or subtract selective colours from photos to make them POP!  We will also see more suggestions of ways to improve our photos as we look through them using “quick fixes”.

All in all it was a AI packed event, some pretty amazing demos but much being left to see what happens in the coming months.  The Google IO event is always a great place to see some of what the future holds, but we must remember that we don’t always get everything they show off at this show.