The Top 6 Announcements from Google I/O 2018

By Jessica Peterson  05/09/2018

Google recently finished their I/O 2018 keynote. This year’s keynote came with many big announcements and a lot of conversation surrounding AI.

1. Google Assistant Voices

Users will now be able to choose from six voice options, in addition to the original voice that you are likely familiar with. John Legend’s voice will also be added to Google Assistant later this year.

2. Google Photos Editing Features

Google Photos will now be able to suggest photo edits for you. Some suggestions could include: pointing out that a darker photo would look better brightened or restoring color to old black and white photos. Google Photos will also use machine-learning technology to recognize your friends and family in photos and allow you to easily share the photos with them.

3. Digital Wellbeing

This is a new feature for Android operating systems that will understand your habits when using your phone. Based on Google’s internal research, Pichai said that “people feel tethered to their devices.” This feature will help users switch off and wind down so they can spend more balanced time with your family. This feature will show you how much time you typically spend on your phone, how many times per day you unlock your phone and how often you receive notifications. The thought is to get individuals to understand how much time they are spending on their phones.

4. Google Duplex

In the near future, Google Assistant will be able to make calls for you. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, played back a recording of a Google Assistant calling a hair salon. The voice sounded natural and the salon employee had no idea she was talking to AI.

Pichai confirmed that this was a real call using Assistant and not a staged demo. “The amazing thing is that Assistant can actually understand the nuances of conversation,” he said. “We’ve been working on this technology for many years.”

5. Smart Compose

Google can now compose emails for you. Smart Compose uses AI “to help you draft emails from scratch, faster.” This feature will help you compose complete sentences as you are typing.

6. Google Maps

Google Maps rolled out AI paired with the street view to give users an interactive, augmented reality experience. There’s also a friendly fox to be your tour guide! Maps is also becoming more social and now provides users with a “For You” tab. This tab allows you to target certain neighborhoods to see what restaurants and businesses are trending, based on feedback from other users. This feature can also be used to coordinate with friends to pick a restaurant.

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