Google I/0 : Google Assistant may soon make phone reservations for you and other takeaways

Google I/0 : Google Assistant may soon make phone reservations for you and other takeaways

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At Google’s annual conference, Google shows its Assistant making dinner reservations or a hair appointment, via phone.

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Along with a special announcement from John Legend. Time

Jorge Cuadros, left, gives a demonstration of a robotic retinal camera to a reporter at the Google I/O conference. (Photo: JEFF CHIU, AP)

Google’s Assistant, its answer to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, is getting smarter, more visual and potentially more helpful.

At the I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Google put the spotlight on the assistant, bringing new voices, including one from singer John Legend, and more visuals. 

For Google, the conference is all about artificial intelligence, and how it’s using computing power to change our lives. 

The assistant is not only getting smarter but also more chatty.

Currently you need to say “Hey, Google,” to initiate a conversation, and often repeat it as well to keep going. Google said new tools will be launched later in the year that will allow Google to have a more natural conversation, without having to drop in the “Hey, Google.”

Google showed how the Assistant was getting visual aids. It will be marrying voice computing with photos and videos, using an example as a recipe, with spoken step-by-step instructions, along with video. 

Google execs offered demos on new iPad-like Smart Display coming from Lenovo and Google later in the year, which will allow voice navigation via the Google Assistant to, say, watch Jimmy Kimmel Live via YouTube TV or order lattes from Starbucks. 

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For fans of the Assistant app, Google is bringing calendar and reminder notices to the app and offering food pick-up and delivery options there as well. Partners include Starbucks, Doordash and Applebee’s. 

My #GoogleIO highlights: Google Maps brings Assistant to app, use camera (Lens) to get visuals on walking directions, colorize old black and white photos and hear new voices to guide you.

Google has beefed up voice commands for its popular Maps app, bringing the Assistant to the feature in the summer. Beyond just getting directions, motorists can also use the Assistant to send an ETA to someone with a voice request, send text messages, and play music and podcasts from within the app, via voice commands.

The stand-alone app (currently No. 10 on Apple’s iTunes chart) is also about to get very commercial. Beyond telling you how to get to and fro, Google is adding a new “For You” tab to show “what to eat, drink and do” in the neighborhoods you’re driving through. Dining, event and activity options will be featured within the map when the features launch later this year.

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Screenshot from Google I/O 2018 in Mountain View, California (Photo: Google)

The collection of news links, which has been around for more than 15 years, was updated Tuesday, using “the best of artificial intelligence” to match articles of interest with readers. A new “For You” section offers a briefing of five stories Google selects, based on your reading history, and a “Full Coverage” tab brings in more links for a deeper dive. The app will be available by the end of next week. 

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More: We asked Google Assistant, Amazon ‘s Alexa and Apple’s Siri 150 questions. Here’s who won.

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Automatic photo-fix tools, such as options to brighten or rotate will be offered before you share photos in the app, where some 5 billion photos are viewed daily. A new feature is coming later this year that will let you colorize old black-and-white photos and take a photo of a document and turn it into a PDF. 

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham, and on YouTube and Instagram. Listen to the daily Talking Tech podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. 

Source via NewsAPI

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