• Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Google’s Pixel Power-Up: AI Unleashed in New Phone and Home Assistant

Google's Pixel Power-Up: AI Unleashed in New Phone and Home Assistant

The artificial intelligence (AI) era is up and running currently, and big companies like Google have come in with new products.

On that note, Google announced AI-powered photo editors, AI-powered multimodal super assistants, and many other products. Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence helped fuel Google’s latest accelerated productions, with AI being the highlight of new Pixel smartphones and an updated digital assistant.

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During its Made by Google event on October 4, 2023, Google introduced the new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro smartphones. These devices are powered by the firm’s new Tensor G3 chips that leverage artificial intelligence to enhance performance. Nonetheless, the real showstopper was the launch of Assistant with Bard, the company’s new AI-enhanced digital assistant.

The Vice President at Google and General Manager for Google Assistant and BardGoogle, Sissie Hsiao, said in an official announcement:

“It combines Bard’s generative and reasoning capabilities with the Assistant’s personalized help. Bard aims to bring slick AI capabilities to your conversations, like a next-gen ChatGPT. You can interact with it through text, voice, or images — and it can even help take actions for you.”

Google said it will start rolling the dual dynamo into Android and iOS devices in the next few months, enabling users to benefit from its multimodal capabilities. Google refers to it as “a more personalized helper,” which can help with Google Docs and Gmail.

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The notable AI effort comes amid a heightened antitrust review for Google targeting its search and digital advertising dominance. In that context, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said:

“Everybody talks about the open web, but there is the Google web.”

Nadella said that Google’s massive incorporation of AI into its platform might further concentrate its power, making competition in search a lot harder in the AI era.

Despite Google moving significantly fast, it is just trying to keep up with the competition. Microsoft has already integrated GPT-4 into Bing and Windows, and OpenAI recently released the most advanced AI-image generator to Date and is giving ChatGPT multimodal capabilities.

“Better than real life”

Google’s new Pixel phones are also designed to get exclusive AI camera tricks such as Best Take, which utilizes algorithms to integrate the best elements from several photos – for instance, wide-open eyes and beaming smiles across many people in a group shot – into one optimized composite image.

While sharing his early thoughts, YouTuber Dave2D said:

“It’s like this enhanced reality that’s better than real life. We’re creeping towards this AI-generated stuff that’s like very impressive technically, but makes you go ‘Hm, should we really be doing this?”

Related: Will AI Reinvigorate Our Approach to Productivity?

Other AI-powered features include the capability to mitigate noise in videos, an advanced image optimizer that minimizes blur and imperfections, and a segmentation model that enables users to delete unwanted elements from a photo and edit it in ways that just a pro image editor could previously.

With the Pixel stable priced at $700 for the base model and $1,000 for the pro version, Google has to deliver a lot of AI firepower. In that context, Google also promises up to seven years of software updates, which might help ignite a major race among rival mobile manufacturers to expand their update timelines.

For now, the jury’s out on whether the decision by Google to aggressively pivot to AI will be adequate to maintain its edge against competition. Nonetheless, the tech industry is rushing towards an AI-powered future quicker than anyone can imagine.

Pixel Phone New Features

Google has packed the new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro smartphones with advanced features. But, the company is leaving it up to users to decide whether to allow Bard to interact with other services. This decision is perceived to be an effort to address worries about AI accessing potentially sensitive information as it looks to learn more about people and language.

One of the new capabilities of Bard-backed assistant is scanning a photo taken on a phone that is powered by Google’s Android software and then generating a concise and interesting caption suitable for social media posts.

Nonetheless, the Bard-backed Assistant will be initially available to a test audience before it is slowly offered on an opt-in basis to more users of the latest Pixels. As expected, most of the features and specifications in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones are similar to what was available in the past year’s models.

The most attractive feature of the new phones is improved cameras, including more AI-powered editing tools. The new AI features can enhance photos, zoom into various parts of images, replace faces taken from other photos in group shots, and erase objects and people from images.

Google now relies on these new AI components added to the latest lineup to justify a price increase. The starting prices for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have increased by $100 over 2022’s comparable models.

Apple also implemented the same strategy when it increased the starting price of its top-end iPhone by $100 when it introduced its latest models in September 2023. These price increases indicate inflationary pressures are beginning to push up the cost of devices that have become important pieces of modern life.

Interestingly, the Pixel 8 Pro can take people’s temperatures, which could be an attractive feature in a post-pandemic era as COVID strains keep evolving. However, Google is still seeking regulatory approval to enable the capability to function in the United States.

Despite the many positive reviews, Pixel phones have not made notable headway in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung since Google started manufacturing the devices seven years ago. However, they have gained some traction in recent years, with their share of the high-end smartphone market now hovering at 4% from barely 1% three years ago, based on International Data Corp research.

Related: AI Tech Demand Exploded By 500% In 12 Months Boosted By ChatGPT Success

Google is not worried about these low sales since it brings in over $200 billion yearly from a digital ad network pivoted by its dominant search engine. Most of the ad revenue arises from the billions of dollars that Google pays yearly to lock in its search engine as the primary gateway to the internet on the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone lineups.

Nonetheless, artificial intelligence features might shift dynamics to favor Google’s Pixel phones in the current high-end smartphone market.

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Kevin Moore - E-Crypto News Editor

Kevin Moore - E-Crypto News Editor

Kevin Moore is the main author and editor for E-Crypto News.