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Google has announced a new personal assistant that aims to make conversations with artificial inteligence more natural, intuitive, and useful. Assistant with Bard, which is powered by generative AI, combines the capabilities of Google’s existing voice assistant with Bard, a large language model that can generate and reason with text, voice, and images.
Assistant with Bard is still an early experiment, and Google plans to roll it out to early testers soon on Android and iOS devices. The company says that Assistant with Bard will be able to help users with various tasks, such as planning trips, finding emails, creating lists, or writing social posts. Users will also be able to interact with Assistant with Bard through text, voice, or images, and the assistant will be able to take actions for them, such as booking flights, ordering groceries, or sending messages.
Google says that Assistant with Bard will be integrated with some of the Google services that users already use, such as Gmail and Docs, making it easier to stay on top of the most important things in their lives. Assistant with Bard will also be contextually aware, using the input from the sensors in an Android device, such as the camera, voice input, or presence detection, to understand the user’s intent and provide relevant responses.
A New Era of Personalization
Google’s announcement of Assistant with Bard comes shortly after Amazon’s announcement of a new large language model for Alexa, which is also powered by generative AI. Amazon says that its new model, which is custom-built and optimized for voice interactions, will enhance Alexa’s five foundational capabilities: understanding, conversing, personalizing, anticipating, and taking action.
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Both Google and Amazon are competing in the market of voice assistants, which has grown rapidly in recent years, as more people use smart speakers, smartphones, and other devices to access information and services through voice. Last year, 123.5 million U.S. adults used voice assistants at least once per month, according to a report by Insider Intelligence.
The development of generative AI models for voice assistants also raises some challenges and concerns, such as ensuring the quality, accuracy, and reliability of the generated content, as well as the privacy and security of the users’ data. Both Google and Amazon say that they are building their models with privacy in mind, and that users will be able to choose their individual privacy settings
The introduction of Assistant with Bard and the new Alexa model shows how generative AI is transforming the way people interact with technology, and how voice assistants are becoming more intelligent, helpful, and human-like. As these models become more widely available, users may soon find themselves talking to their devices as if they were talking to a real person — or even a friend. Let’s just hope the new release goes better than the last.
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