It was only 2018 when Google Assistant was announced to be installed in a billion devices. By 2020 Google Assistant has progressed to a monthly active user base of 500 million people. This progress cannot be single-handedly credited to any single update or addition to the software or the Search Engine Giant.
Google has kept rolling out various new updates that are both attractive and user-friendly. The generations to come look for ease in all activities that they do. The Google search engine is optimised in a way to serve that very purpose. Want to set an alarm? Tell Google Assistant. Want to message someone? Tell Google Assistant. Want your ex in the blocked list? Tell Google Assistant. It’s all done in a matter of seconds.
Google made a few strikingly exciting announcements regarding these updates in the recent CES held in Las Vegas. The Assistant will perform functions like scheduled actions (e.g., switching on the heater at a specified time etc.), pinning sticky notes on the lock screens of various devices which is the technological equivalent of leaving notes on the refrigerator. Just say, Google leave a note saying, “Food is in the microwave” and Google Assistant will leave that note in the lock screen of your devices. The speed dial function is replaced by putting emergency contacts in an accessible place probably the lock screen for a person to be able to dial it with a simple tap in case of an emergency, much similar to the sticky note design.
A new useful update for the businesses is a smart display that can translate the text from different languages, also known as the interpreter mode, to facilitate all communication worldwide. Last but not the least, Google plans on an update to rectify a commonly occurring in various previous versions of the Assistant, i.e., activating Google Assistant by mistake. A lot of people noticed that the Google Assistant would be activated without having said the key words normally used to activate it (Hey, Google) and in the middle of the conversation would speak up with either, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” or “Sorry, I can’t help you with that”. This can now be fixed by saying “Hey Google, it wasn’t meant for you”, and the conversation will be wiped out from the history of the software automatically.
And there is more to it...
According to a new IQ study conducted by Loup Ventures, Google Assistant led the IQ test by completely understanding 100 % of the questions while the other two equally famous Artificial Intelligence systems i.e., Alexa and Siri followed at a close 99.9% and 99.8% respectively. The Assistants however, were relatively less responsive in being able to answer these questions with accuracy. The statistics of which being, Google Assistant again leading with a whopping 92.9%, followed by Siri at 83% and Alexa at 79.8%.
The set of questions that were used in the test were carefully crafted by Loup Venture to cover 5 aspects namely, Local (where is the nearest coffee shop?), Commerce (Order me more paper towels?), Navigation (How do I get to Uptown on a bus?), Information (Who do the Twins play tonight?), Command (Remind me to call Jerome at 2 p.m. today). There was a total of 800 questions falling in these five categories that were used to determine the IQ of these AIs.
With Google assistant doing exceptionally well over other AIs in the areas of navigation and Commerce with percentages of 98 and 92 respectively, Siri still managed to overtake the Google Assistant in terms of command because of its programming which is mainly focused on the performance of given tasks like calling, texting, emailing etc.
There is a lot of scope for the Google Assistant to get better, but as new avenues open up, the definition of unachievable changes every day. With a seven percent improvement rate, Google Assistant has managed to keep up with the use cases and the growing needs of the generation. As the new updates that are promised roll out later this year, the 100% accuracy in response seems achievable!