It’s been clear far before that Google makes the utmost effort and turns it into the potential of their products. Google is about to change the experience meaningfully by adding AI-powered capabilities to its core apps will surely take place in the coming month or years.
There can be some similarities being observed in the prior addition and it will be interesting to see how the company brands them. Well, Assistant seems fairly obvious for these AI features, besides that Google has numerous options to go to.
The similarity between generative AIs and Assistant
Generative text AIs find information and can present it in a direct, natural way. These can be used to find answers to nuanced questions and compose any manner of text. Fundamentally, this new technology can accomplish things on your behalf that previously required a bit more work.
As of last May, Google’s stated goal for Assistant is to make it the “easiest way to get everyday tasks done.” Right off the bat, generated, direct answers help address a big pain point of Assistant.
With Bard (which should just be a temporary name for an “experimental conversational Al service”), Assistant would be able to go further and accomplish more complex tasks, like creating a travel itinerary, helping you start hobbies, or aiding purchase decisions.
These back-and-forths would greatly benefit from Google’s upcoming work to let Assistant ignore “umm,” interruptions, natural pauses, and other self-corrections, thus making longer exchanges less frustrating and error-prone. Conversational features are a natural extension for Assistant, especially if the primary interaction is voice.
Google Assistant all the things
In order to improve Assistant Google could just add Bard or another LaMDA-derived experience. However, it would also make sense if Google’s generative AI features were branded Assistant in other apps. Google said it would incorporate conversational features into Assistant, Search, and Workspace when LaMDA was first announced at I/O 2021. We’ve seen the beginnings of generative AI in Search, while Pichai on Wednesday said it’s “working to bring large language models to Gmail and Docs.”
Of course, the branding for Smart Reply and Compose as features are far from the same level as a product. Smart Reply is found across Gmail, Google Chat, Android, and even Docs (comments), while Smart Compose is in Gmail, Docs, and Gboard.
At the end of the day, generative AI features accomplish tasks. Be it composing an email or answering a question in service of you accomplishing a task. This assistance is very closely aligned with what people expect Google Assistant to be.
Google has been focusing on improving the voice aspect of Assistant, while pulling back on other Assistant-branded fronts, like Driving Mode, Snapshot, and Memory in the past year. The aim is to make Assistant interactions more natural by reducing the need for “Hey Google” with Quick Phrases on Pixel phones and the Nest Hub Max. The smart display also supports “Look and Talk” where you just make eye contact to issue a command.
Making the hypothetical AI button that appears in Chrome to analyze and take action on a web page Assistant would be in direct contradiction of that, especially if a keyboard input-first experience, but I think it’s better than a generic “G” . Or the company coming up with some other logo to represent chatting with Google. (Friendly reminder: Google Chat is taken.)
This is Google after all
Google has a track record of wanting users to perceive “Google” as the be-all and end-all of knowledge. The assistant was announced as being “your own personal Google.” Additionally, the hot word is “Hey Google,” and not “Hey Assistant.”
Looking at the landscape, Microsoft’s biggest AI debut is just called “new Bing,” with the Bing logo appearing in the top-right corner of Edge. Its chatbot is just called “chat mode.” The other path Google could take is to not give these generative AI features a unifying name and let them just be another feature within each app, like Gmail or Docs.
From Gmail and Calendar to Maps and Photos, Google likes to name products what they are. It’s not the most exciting branding, but you know what a service does by its name. That same principle should apply to fundamentally transformative and assistive AI products.