GOOGLE ASSISTANT is about the get a heck of a lot smarter, thanks to a serious upgrade coming to the Pixel 4 (or whatever Google decides to call it).
In a surprisingly competent on-stage demo at Google I/O, we got to see the future of Google Assistant, and it is blazing fast. The key to the speed boost comes with the news that when it rolls out later in the year, Google Assistant will be moving almost entirely on-device.
By shrinking the algorithms that power speech recognition from terabytes to gigabytes and now mere megabytes, Google Assistant will soon be able to respond to questions 10 times faster, because it won't need to consult the cloud all the time.
An internet connection will still be required to find actual answers, and in the background, there'll be data sent to the AI model in the cloud to update it, which is then transmitted back to the device as an updated model.
There's no news of when this update is likely to be available more widely, but it is expected that it will be backported to older Pixel phones when the Pixel 4 launches. It won't be in the Pixel 3a, at least at launch.
Scott Huffman, Google's brave demonstrator, described the change as a 'paradigm shift' that will enable Google Assistant to become a more efficient way of multitasking and controlling everything about your phone without waiting around for the lag.
In the demo, we also got to see Google Assistant trying more complex tasks, including composing an entire email, searching for a picture to embed, adding a calendar entry and so on, all using the threaded conversation feature, so there's no need to say "OK Google" all the time.
As a footnote, an earlier innovation is rolling out immediately - Google Assistant will now accept "Stop" as a command if its playing an alarm - there's no need to say "OK Google" because it's fairly obvious that if you're talking to her, you probably want the alarm off, first thing. μ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score