Google introduced a new mobile messaging app called Allo, which is integrated with a personal digital assistant based on artificial intelligence (AI) technology, during the company’s I/O developer conference today.
According to the search engine giant, Allo is free and will be available on Android and iOS later this summer. The AI-powered new mobile messaging app will not replace Hangouts, but it will serve as a fresh start for the new communications division of Google.
Erik Kay, director of engineering and communications products at Google said, “It’s really liberating to start from scratch sometimes. Allo does feel like a fresh new start. Its interface is clean and easy to understand, with some clever little innovations on what you’ve seen in other chat apps like WhatsApp or Messenger.
Google assistant offers ambient experience across devices
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company’s digital assistant offers an “ambient experience that extends across devices. According to him, the goal is to provide users with an “on-going dialog with Google” and allow them to create their own “individual Google.”
The digital assistant allows users obtain information from Google by setting up a conversation with @google and ask any question. It will provide answers and suggests further searches and ways to complete tasks such as searching movies, finding restaurants and booking a table.
The search engine giant has been working on AI technology for more than 15 years. It is hoping to use its expertise in AI in developing conversational computing products to lead the competition.
Technology observers suggested that any company with the most engaging and useful personal digital assistant or conversational interface will dominate the competition.
Google will develop other products and services using its digital assistant
Scott Huffman, Google’s vice president of engineering for search said the company hopes to make it easier for people to access its services for them to keep using it. He said, “Every time we’ve had an improvement in voice recognition we see a corresponding jump in usage,”
The search engine giant plans to develop other products and services using its digital assistant over time and integrate more AI capabilities, according to Huffman.
The strategy allows the company’s search and services became part of people through their smartphones, smartwatches, car and homes.