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Google aims to win the AI revolution by building a personal assistant into everything.

Stashed in: Artificial Intelligence, Vice, Turing, @sundarpichai, Google!, Internet of Things, Siri, Machine Learning, Awesome, Echo

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Google believes its artificial intelligence software is its differentiator.

Google believes we are on the cusp a shift in computing as fundamental as PC to mobile. This time, the shift is away from physical devices themselves to where the killer app is AI, or artificial intelligence, baked in.

But to get there, ironically, Google has to actually build more devices than ever before. So on Tuesday the company unveiled a raft of new devices with its brand of AI, "Google Assistant" inside: new smartphones, a connected speaker and a VR headset. While Google boasted about the hardware, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that AI is what will set it apart from competitors like Apple and Amazon.

"Computing will be universally available, it will be everywhere in the context of the user's daily life," Pichai said. "People will be able to interact with it naturally and seamlessly than ever before. And above all else, it will be intelligent."

The shift to AI, he said, is as predictable as the history of computing, which undergoes a big revolution just about every decade: from desktop PCs in the 1980s to the web revolution of the mid-1990s, and from there to mobile a decade ago. 

Google sees its Assistant not as a voice-activated replacement for its search box but as part of a "two-way conversation" that will be available whenever the user needs it. "Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user," Pichai said.

The Pixel smartphone and Home speaker are the first devices with Google's brand of AI built in. Google claims the Pixel is the first smartphone it has ever built. But that's a bit of a stretch given Google has previously owned Motorola and has been "building" Nexus smartphones for the past seven years with hardware partners like Samsung, HTC, LG, and Huawei.

But the Pixel is the first phone to be branded "Made by Google" and is a significant shift in its smartphone strategy, which until now has been about working with hardware partners rather than competing with them.

Home, which will cost $129 ($50 less than the Alexa-powered Echo), will go on sale in November and will allow users do a lot of things they can't on Amazon's device, including accessing Google's knowledge graph, a database with over 70 billion facts on tap. While Echo has a big head start, Google's AI-powered Home has the potential to dominate if it can convince developers that it is the system they should be developing for.

AI assistants are fundamental:

Pichai indicated that just as the Google search page was people's homepage on PCs, the web and mobile, it wants Google Assistant to be always there in the next era of computing. "Our vision for the Google Assistant is to be universal, to be there everywhere the user needs it to be."

Good luck with that, Google.  Also, good luck snookering me into one of your services again. 

How did Google hurt you?

I was not real happy about the way they seemingly tried to kill feed reading... building a feed reader slightly better than everyone else, then waiting until most were out of business to kill it.

Google is the worst.  One day, I'll be free of gmail, and then I'll have a party. 

I will help you celebrate. :)

You're right that they killed feed readers, paving the way for Twitter.

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