There's always a gap to be filled between the capabilities of an emerging and evolving technology and the commercialization of the products that exploit those capabilities.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proven to be no exception.  Clearly lots of ground has been covered in the AI space since Alan Turing first posed the question, "Can machines think?" in his seminal 1950 paper.  On Wednesday, at its annual developer conference, Google announced several major enhancements to its product set that demonstrate just how far the application of AI has come. 

Here are the top 5 enhancements announced by Google this week:

Duplex: You can ask Google Assistant to call a business and schedule an appointment for you.  The feature uses AI to check your calendar and book the event.

Smart Compose:  A Gmail feature, Google can now help you to autocomplete your message.  While it's not all that useful at the moment because of its limited AI, one can see how it's the beginning of something very exciting - a time where one can simply jot down a few thoughts regarding what needs to be conveyed in the note and the first draft can be crafted by the software.

Style Match: Google leverages its object-recognition and machine-learning ability to help you find accessories, clothes and furniture that you might like online.  It all starts with a simple point and click of the Google Lens camera on an item that you like and the AI software does the rest.

Google Assistant Politeness Feature:  This capability is designed to teach children some manners when asking for things.  When you say "please," Google will acknowledge that and give you a compliment.  The idea is that this Assistant feature will reinforce good manners by providing positive feedback to your child when using the device.

Street View: Is a Google maps and camera feature, which enables you to get directions by using any notable land marks or street signs that you're seeing at the moment.  Just point the camera using Street View and giant arrows will point you where to go next.

To close, there were a dozen more product features and enhancements announced at the conference.  So, be sure to use Google to learn more about them.  For me, these 5 represent some of the biggest improvements outlined and point the way to more AI-fueled ideas being fielded in the near future by the tech giant.

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Published on: May 11, 2018
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