Google has announced smart messaging and video calling apps at its I/O developer conference. Android and iOS app Allo, due for release in the summer, is Google’s attempt to evolve traditional text messaging with the introduction of a smart virtual assistant.
The assistant uses machine learning technology and Google’s Knowledge Graph framework to provide suggested responses to text messages.
For example, if someone sends a picture of their graduation, the assistant, effectively an evolution of the OK Google service in Android, suggests responses such as ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Well done’.
It also learns the user’s style of response, adapting the suggestions to be formal or casual and making use of slang terms and cod grammar.
Google has promised that Allo will not replace the Hangouts messaging service, and that it will include end-to-end encryption, the ability to enlarge and shrink text, and the option to set an expiry date on texts in a similar way to Snapchat.
The second communications app is Duo, Google’s take on video calling. The free app is designed to be simple to use, and delivers video calling at a relatively clear 720p resolution optimised to work effectively on poor connections and with limited bandwidth.
The app uses end-to-end encryption to prevent hackers cracking into video chats, and has a feature called Knock Knock that displays live video previews of the caller.
Google’s work on Allo and Duo shows the company exploring how it can make life easier for its users.
And with Allo the firm is demonstrating very practical uses for its artificial intelligence technology, rather than simply using its research in the field as a way to show how smart technology can beat humans at board games.
Several other product and service announcements cropped up at Google I/O, including the Daydream virtual reality platform for Android N.
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