Google promises a smarter and smaller AI assistant

The assistant will be able to book cars and tickets using online forms on Android phones

Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the company’s annual developer conference Tuesday with updates to Google’s artificially intelligent voice assistant. It will get a series of updates this year, including one that lets it book rental cars and movie tickets.

Google says its assistant will be able to book cars and tickets using online forms on Android phones later this year. The technology behind this, called Duplex, was released to much fanfare last year when Google demonstrated it making a call to book a restaurant reservation.

READ MORE: Facebook tweaks tools for remembering dead friends

The Google Assistant will also get shrunk down so that it can work directly on a phone, eliminating the need to communicate with Google’s cloud servers to understand some commands. The phone-only capability will be available on new Pixel phones later this year.

The AI is also learning to offer more personal suggestions to users by learning common contact names and addresses.

Pichai also reiterated his intention to come up with more features to help make people’s lives easier. The pledge made Tuesday before a crowd of about 7,000 computer programmers is part of Pichai’s efforts to diversify Google beyond its roots as a search engine.

Google’s search engine remains the main way that the company makes billions of dollars annually by selling digital ads that are targeted at the interests that people reveal through their search requests.

Google is expected to unveil several other products and other features during the conference, known as I/O, in Mountain View.

Rachel Lerman And Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Kelowna company wins contract for LNG Canada project in Kitimat

SK Form & Finish will work with equivalent of 4,000 fully loaded concrete trucks

U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminium scrapped

Joint effort by industry, government and unions secures deal

Rio Tinto BC Works watching Nechako reservoir levels closely

Dropping water levels could threaten power generation operations

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read