Google’s been working on a few pet projects that are designed to make life easier for the humans who use them.
Utilizing its artificial intelligence tools and machine learning algorithms, the tech giant wowed the crowd this year at its annual developers conference in Mountain View, California. The many new features are meant to add practical skills to some of its most popular tools, like Google Maps, and voice assistant Google Assistant.
Previewing the Google Future
Since Google’s rise in the tech world, it has been clear that the company was determined to become a disruptive force.
From self-driving cars to contact lenses that could read a diabetic’s blood sugars with pinpoint accuracy, every design coming out of Google HQ seemed more unbelievable than the next. Today, there’s a fleet of self-driving cars roaming the highways and byways in order to earn the trust of both lawmakers and consumers.
The near Google future isn’t as dramatic, but it is far more useful. These are just a few of the new features previewed this year:
- Gmail’s autocomplete is about to get even better. Using machine learning, it will be able to offer longer suggestions for finishing half-composed sentences. For example, a user might type “I need to go to the” and Google will offer a helpful suggestion of “market before I come home.”
- Google Photos is also getting a jetpack. Not only will it be able to suggest sharing photos of someone in your contacts with them, it will be able to convert photos to PDFs and will have the ability to insert black and white sections into color photos and vice versa.
- Augmented reality is being added to Google Maps in order to help people with walking directions. Arrows or possibly a cartoon character will be overlayed on actual views of the street in front of the user to guide the way.
- Android phones will gain a “shush” mode that turns on “Do No Disturb” mode when the phone is flipped face down, regardless of time of day. The new “Wind Down Mode” slowly fades the phone’s screen to grayscale at a designated time so users can wind down a bit more naturally.
- Google Assistant is getting some new voices, but more importantly, it’s going to be able to teach children good manners by thanking them when they say please. Assistant is also aspiring to make reservations and speak more like a real human, with all the awkward “ums” and “mmm-hmms” that come with conversation.
Google’s still playing a huge part in driving technology to a place where it may start to get hard to differentiate a human from Google Assistant. Ultimately, it plans to use AI to do great things such as improving health care and helping the environment.