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Google Assistant is getting 10 times faster with on-device machine learning, company executives said today. The faster Google Assistant will be available on Pixel phones “later this year,” CEO Sundar Pichai said onstage today at the I/O annual developer conference.
The feat is also made possible by drastically shrinking recurrent neural networks and language understanding models from 100 GB to about 500 MB, he said.
Duplex for the web was also introduced, and will allow Google Assistant users to book rental cars and reserve movie tickets. Google Assistant’s computer vision tool Lens got upgrades today and will soon be able to use a smartphone camera to scan a restaurant menu and highlight the top items.
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Google also debuted the less expensive Pixel 3a and Nest Hub Max smart display.
Your personal Google Assistant
Google introduced a number of new Google Assistant features, including more personalized results on smart displays and Personal Preferences, which allows users to share information about family and friends. Doing so will make it possible to say things like “OK Google, remind me to buy flowers before mom’s birthday.”
“If you’ve shared important people, places, or events with Google Assistant, you’ll be able to share things more naturally,” VP Scott Huffman said onstage today.
Users can update or delete personalized information using the Google Assistant app.
Picks For You is also being introduced this summer for smart displays, and delivers personalized recommendations for smart display users, beginning with recipes, podcasts, and local events.
Driving Mode was also introduced today to personalize suggestions you see on your phone screen, like directions to an appointment, or to highlight the latest podcast you’ve been listening to (or to share recommendations for other things to listen to). Google Assistant will also announce the name of a caller while in Driving Mode.
Driving Mode will be available starting this summer on all Android smartphones.
The ability to simply say “stop” to end alarms on a Home device is also launching today for English-speaking users in the United States.
Finally, the ability to assign reminders to people in your household is coming this summer.
Google Assistant is now available on more than a billion devices. Google announced its Assistant was available on 500 million devices at I/O last year, and surpassed 1 billion total devices earlier this year.
Google Assistant is also able to connect with 30,000 devices from 3,500 brands, up from 10,000 devices last fall.
Updated at 3:15 p.m. to include Picks For You details and Driving Mode YouTube video.