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Google event highlights artificial intelligence focus

Google this week hosted its annual I/O developers conference, announcing new products that highlight the tech giant’s focus on artificial intelligence.

Meet the Google assistant. Google Translate Product Lead Barak Turovsky lent some content in a post to the company’s corporate blog: “The assistant is conversational – an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It’s a Google for you, by you.”

Turovsky said the company views the current technological landscape as at a “seminal moment. Many of these advances have been thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence – specifically, areas like natural language processing, voice recognition and translation – and they have helped us build an increasingly useful and assistive experience for users. They are the ingredients that make Google speech recognition the most accurate in the world, and that let you take a picture of a sign in Chinese and see it translated into English. Progress in all of these areas is accelerating.”

Coming later this year is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo.

“Google Home is a voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house,” the company said. “It lets you enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks and get answers from Google – all using conversational speech. With a simple voice command, you can ask Google Home to play a song, set a timer for the oven, check your flight or turn on your lights. It’s designed to fit your home with customizable bases in different colors and materials.”

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