WhatsApp beta introduces AI assistant to chats – here’s how it works

As part of a recent beta, WhatsApp is giving select mobile users access to Meta’s new AI-powered chat rooms.

If you don’t remember, Meta announced during its Connect 2023 event that it was working on an “in-app assistant” for several of its platforms. The tech functions similarly to Bing Chat as you can ask it questions or engage “in some light conversation” with it. What’s more, the company revealed you can also give the AI a unique personality with each one based on a famous celebrity. For example, the Dungeon Master persona will guide you through a choose-your-own-adventure game and will have a video feed of rapper Snoop Dogg. It won't, however, imitate his speech patterns or mannerisms. It's solely the AI that Meta developed.

We don’t know when this WhatsApp feature will officially launch. WABetaInfo reports, however, that both iOS and Android users can try out a beta version of the tech. The former was recently released while the latter has been available since November 17. On top of introducing the in-app assistant, the update places the AI-powered conversations right on the Chats tab for quick access.

How to use WhatsApp's new AI assistant

Android owners who are interested must first join the Google Play Beta Program and install the WhatsApp Beta app on their devices. For iPhone users, we would normally direct people to join the TestFlight Beta Program. Unfortunately, the WhatsApp Beta on iOS is closed. It hasn’t had an open slot for the past two and a half years, at the time of this writing. 

Worry not because we have access to the AI assistant on Android and we’ll show you what it’s like. Upon launching WhatsApp, tap the green Chat icon in the lower right corner, then select New AI chat.

WhatsApp create an AI assistant

(Image credit: Future)

On the following page, you will see every single persona currently available. We’ll select the base Meta AI for now. There, it’ll suggest some topics of discussion to start things off like what are the most popular shows on Netflix? The assistant will respond by giving recommendations while also linking to its source. You can see in the image below it got the information from TechRadar’s list of the best Netflix shows. From here, you can continue the conversation however you like.

WhatsApp AI Assistant making recommendations

(Image credit: Future)

How to try out WhatsApp's AI personas

If you want a specific personality, you can choose from a variety across different categories like Sports, Pop culture, and Advice. In this example, we’ll choose the Dungeon Master mentioned earlier. It’ll provide content suggestions at the start such as creating a playable character in the story. Each persona comes with a celebrity or actor emoting in real-time. You can move the feed around to the four corners of the screen, but you can’t get rid of it. It’s a permanent fixture.

WhatsApp's Dungeon Master AI

(Image credit: Future)

Once you’re done, you can find the AI conversations in the main Chat tab on your WhatsApp account on mobile. Or you can even continue conversing with the personas on WhatsApp for desktop. Each one can be found in the left-hand menu with the rest of your chat rooms. 

WhatsApp AI assistant on desktop

(Image credit: Future)

Keep in mind you cannot create an assistant on a desktop. The update is strictly for mobile only although it does invertedly reveal this feature will be available outside of smartphones in some form. It’s unknown at this time if this patch is widely available. WABetaInfo does claim Meta has plans to expand the AI personas “to a wider audience in the future”, but doesn’t provide any further details.

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Microsoft Paint is becoming a digital art powerhouse thanks to this new AI assistant

Microsoft has recently held multiple events where it’s made it known that it’s serious about AI, and following the grand unveiling of its new AI assistant, Windows Copilot, the company has now introduced another AI bot, Cocreator, to help generate images in the iconic Paint app. 

TweakTown reports that that Cocreator’s been known about in the Windows-sphere since test versions of the feature were released through the Canary and Dev channels in September, two release channels of the Windows Insider Program which allows users to sign up to it to preview potential Windows versions and features to give feedback before they are widely released. After these releases, a version was released via the Beta channel (a third Windows Insider release channel) and, just last week, a Cocreator version made its way through the Release Preview channel (the fourth and final release Windows Insider channel that sees features before they’re integrated into upgrades for all users). 

Cocreator is powered by Dall-E, like Bing Image Creator, and works in a similar way. You give Cocreator a description of what you’d like to see composed, select the art style if you have one in mind, and Cocreator will try to create it. 

TweakTown calls the results “impressive” and other early reactions to the new tool are positive, partly due, no doubt, to it utilizing the latest version of OpenAI’s Dall-E. 

One of the first demonstration opportunities was spotted and posted by X (formerly Twitter) user PhantomOfEarth, who found a new 'first run' tutorial to take you through using Paint Cocreator for the first time in Windows version 11.2309.28.0 (in Canary and Dev). 

Windows 11 Update showing on laptop in an office

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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How to try Paint Cocreator for yourself

Cocreator is still being tested it seems, and to be able to try it, Microsoft asks you to sign up to the waitlist in the Cocreator side panel – and once approved, you should receive an email. Microsoft doesn’t elaborate what panel this is, but Nerds Chalk writes that you can alternatively get Paint Cocreator by first being in the Windows Insider Program (to which you’ll have to sign up to if you’re not) and install the latest Canary or Dev build. Then you should be able to update your Paint app through the Microsoft Store > Library

Whichever route you take, Cocreator is still being tested and the version you’ll see will be a preview one, prone to possible changes and developments. That said, with Cocreator being spotted in the Release Preview channel, it should appear soon in a Windows 11 update. The new Paint has already been something of a favorite among its fans, and this development will definitely make it a better-equipped creator playground. It’s already seen a major revamp with the addition of a layers feature and now Cocreator. 

To think, Microsoft was ready to send the basic (but much-loved) Paint into retirement a few years ago, but it might prove to be one of the most successful apps that draws users to Windows yet. I have many fond memories of playing around in Paint when I was a kid, and with its pack of new features, maybe it’ll ignite the imaginations of children and adults alike today. 

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Galaxy S24, S23, and Pixel phones could be first in line for Assistant with Bard

At the same time as launching the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel Watch 2 last week, Google also unveiled its new AI-powered Assistant with Bard tool – and now we've got a better idea of which phones might be getting the app first.

The team at 9to5Google has dug into the latest Google app for Android to look for references to Assistant with Bard, and based on hidden code that's been uncovered, it looks as though the Pixel 8 and Samsung Galaxy S24 phones will be first in line.

With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro shipping tomorrow, it seems likely that users of these phones will be able to try Assistant with Bard before anyone else – and Google intimated as much when it announced the AI bot. The Samsung Galaxy S24 isn't due to launch until January or February next year.

However, Google has also gone on record as saying Assistant with Bard will be available to “select testers” to begin with, before more people get it over the “next few months”. In other words, even if you've got a Pixel 8, you might be waiting a while.

Coming soon

After Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 owners have had a good play around with everything that Assistant with Bard has to offer, 9to5Google suggests that the Pixel 6, Pixel 7, and Galaxy S23 handsets will be the next to receive the upgrade.

Some example queries have also been found in the Google app code, including “help explain in a kid-friendly way why rainbows appear” and “give me some ideas to surprise my concert-loving friend on their birthday”.

Those lines will be familiar to anyone who's already played around with the generative AI in Google Bard: like ChatGPT, it can write poetry, reports, emails, and much more, as well as coming up with ideas and explaining difficult topics.

Assistant with Bard adds all that to what we already have in Google Assistant: answering questions, controlling smart lights, finding out what the weather's doing, and so on. It could soon be the most powerful Google app on your phone.

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Say your goodbyes to Cortana: the unloved Windows 11 assistant is going the way of Clippy as Copilot takes over

The preview of the newest Windows 11 build is missing a big thing: the Cortana app. This change was detailed in an official Windows Insider blog post (aimed at people who help test out early versions of upcoming Windows 11 updates), providing a link to an extra page going into more detail about ending support for the Cortana standalone app. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen talk of effectively killing off the Cortana app. BleepingComputer reports about another Canary channel preview release that had the Cortana app and support for it removed earlier this year. The future of Cortana was originally announced back in June, when Microsoft first set out its plans to end support for the standalone app.

At the time, Microsoft wrote that support for Cortana would also eventually end for a range of Microsoft products including Teams mobile, the Teams display, and Teams Rooms, as well as ending voice assistance for Outlook mobile and Microsoft 365 mobile, in the later half of this year. 

This is a big step for Microsoft which committed a lot of time and resources to Cortana, integrating it deeply into the Windows operating system and tailoring it to work with a number of Microsoft apps and products. It was, however, long expected that it may end up getting culled after Microsoft put out an announcement on its official support blog two years ago that support for the Cortana mobile app would end.

Screenshot of Windows Copilot in use

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The new kid on the block, Copilot

Cortana’s exit is happening to make way for Microsoft’s new central focus, its AI-equipped assistant named Copilot, which was announced at this year’s Build conference. Users were able to try Copilot after the Windows 11 22H2 update was released on September 26. Microsoft’s CVP, Yusuf Mehdi, stated that “Copilot will uniquely incorporate the context and intelligence of the web, your work data, and what you are doing in the moment,” and emphasized that Microsoft was prioritizing privacy and security.

After an optional update (or eventually I assume a mandatory update), Copilot will be turned on by default, with users being able to configure settings with Microsoft’s Intune policy or Group Policy (for groups and organizations). This was clarified by Harjit Dhaliwal, a Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, in a Microsoft enterprise blog post.

As well as Copilot, Microsoft has told users how they can utilize its AI-powered search engine Bing Search and enable voice assistance capabilities through Voice access in Windows 11. 

Cortana’s demise isn’t too surprising, as the voice assistant got a very mixed reception and saw a lot of criticism. Microsoft appears to want to have another try, and is clearly hoping that the AI-powered Copilot will fare better. Although Copilot has taken somewhat wobbly first steps, it’s innovative and has plenty of potential.

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Google Assistant is finally getting Bard’s AI smarts – and it could help run your life

It makes sense for the generative AI engine Google Bard to add some of its smarts to the Google Assistant tool that's been setting alarms and looking up facts on the web for years – and that's exactly what Google has just announced at its Made by Google 2023 event.

Assistant with Bard is described as “a step towards a more personal assistant” by Google exec Sissie Hsiao, and it builds on the recently added integrations between Bard and other Google products like Gmail and Google Drive.

So, for example, you could ask Assistant with Bard to highlight the most important emails you've had this week for you, or get the tool to write a social media post for you, to accompany a photo of your very cute puppy.

Another demo Google ran through was checking where a party was (based on a Gmail invite), finding out how long it would take to get there (via Google Maps), and then sending a text offering to travel there with a specific friend.

Personalization and reasoning

“[Assistant with Bard] combines Bard's generative and reasoning capabilities with Assistant’s personalized help,” writes Hsiao. “You can interact with it through text, voice or images – and it can even help take actions for you.”

So you get all the creativity of Bard, plus the functionality of Google Assistant, plus the personalization offered by the integrations with other Google products. It's a pretty comprehensive package, and it's going to be available on Android and iOS over the next few months.

It looks as though some features will be exclusive to Android, because of Assistant's deeper hooks into apps and settings on that platform. Google has also emphasized that the product will be “built with your privacy in mind” and have individual privacy settings – so we'll wait and see what that means.

Generative AI was a big part of the multiple announcements at the Made by Google 2023 event today, from photo editing tricks on the Google Pixel 8 Pro to clearer voice calling on the Google Pixel Buds Pro. You can catch up on everything that happened on our Google Pixel 8 liveblog.

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In the least surprising Microsoft news ever, its new Windows Copilot AI assistant is showing users ads

Microsoft has recently introduced its newest major addition to Windows 11, an AI assistant named Windows Copilot. So far, it's seen a lukewarm reception due to bugs, and now users have noticed something else – Microsoft is putting ads into Copilot’s Bing Chat function. 

As you might have guessed, many users aren’t happy about this. Copilot is still under development and available as an optional update feature, and I would speculate that users who were excited by its introduction are hoping to see improvements and changes rather than advertisements.

Windows Latest reports that Microsoft has added ads that show up when users make certain queries in Copilot, giving the example of “compare Amazon Prime with Netflix.” This apparently prompts Copilot to show you an ad for Amazon Prime within its interface. Oh boy. 

This is possible because Copilot’s Bing Chat makes use of Microsoft Edge’s WebView2, a program that enables developers to render web content for apps within the browser. In recent times, Microsoft has seemingly followed Google’s lead and integrated ads more and more into its own platforms and programs. This isn’t even entirely unacceptable to users who use Bing, either. 

Many users are okay with ads in Bing and its applications in exchange for being able to use powerful AI tools like ChatGPT equipped with GPT-4 (the latest version of the tech powering ChatGPT – OpenAI’s own website only allows access to GPT-3 for free, although this might change soon) and DALL-E via Bing Image Creator. This doesn’t automatically extend to tolerating ads within Windows Copilot, however, especially with it being more deeply built into the Windows 11 interface. 

Bing.com website homepage viewed through a magnifying glass

(Image credit: Shutterstock / SergioVas)

Windows Copilot: currently a work in progress

Windows Latest calls the current version of Copilot “boring and slow” (ouch) and many users are hoping that big changes are still to come. Users hope for developments like plugin support and being able to use Copilot in more Microsoft apps, like using it for tasks within Microsoft Office.

Microsoft did also present its Copilot assistant for enterprise users, Microsoft 365 Copilot, to assist in apps like Word and Excel. It’s unclear if regular Copilot will also assist non-enterprise users in this way at some point, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen.

Microsoft promoted Copilot as its state-of-the-art AI assistant product, integrating Bing Chat and the latest developments to ChatGPT from its collaboration with OpenAI. The initial reveal looked very promising and advertised Copilot as a pretty intelligent assistant, allowing it an understanding of context (such as what apps are open on your screen when you submit a query). So far, these kinds of promises look like they’re yet to be fulfilled, as apparently Copilot can’t open apps from your voice or text input just yet. 

This might not be what Copilot is for, compared to its predecessor Cortana, which could help open up apps and folders. It’s supposed to be more than an administrative assistant, and has many AI functionalities yet to be added. In its current form, it takes up a small amount of disk space and is an optional install. If you do install it and wish to turn it off, you can do so using the Group Policy editor.

Windows 11 on a laptop

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Will users be able to remove ads in Copilot?

That said, you can’t simply turn off ads within Copilot if you want to continue using it, meaning that if you want to use Copilot, you'll have to tolerate ads. Bing Chat and Microsoft’s big bet on OpenAI and ChatGPT is arguably its biggest challenge to Google’s dominance in a while. It wants to convince as many people as possible to try the newly AI-charged Bing Search, and maybe even consider replacing Google Search with it. It’s not cheap to run an AI-powered search engine, though, and as long as Google Search still reigns supreme, ads are a way to generate revenue while Microsoft continues to experiment. 

Bing Chat does see some demand and even popularity among experts and enthusiasts in the AI community, especially those who want to try out GPT-4 and DALL-E for free. Most users understand that ads are an everyday part of our lives, especially online; a small price to pay to be able to use services and apps.

However, ads are also annoying and sometimes disruptive, and Microsoft has a lot of work to do in finding a balance between including ads to recoup its massive investments and not pushing away users with ad-based irritation – especially since the latter would mean that they don’t see the ads in the first place, thus potentially losing Microsoft its revenue. 

For me personally, if Copilot means there could be ads surfacing in the deeper levels of Windows 11, like in my local file browser or right in the search bar on my taskbar, I’ll probably be reluctant to use it.  If it keeps ads to more internet-centered apps and programs like Edge (or extensions on other browsers like Google Chrome), I’ll be more likely to try it and continue using it. The ball’s now in Microsoft’s court to hear user feedback and hopefully try something different with Copilot’s ads.

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Microsoft announces Copilot all-in-one AI assistant coming to Windows 11 on September 26

Today at Microsoft's “special event”, Yusef Mehdi, the tech company’s head of consumer marketing presented a huge next step in its AI evolution – Copilot. 

It has previously announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, an intelligent assistant that worked across a range of its suite of productivity apps like Word and Excel.

At the event, Microsoft explained how Copilot is going to help you with almost everything that you use Windows or Microsoft products for. This new versatile Copilot will be put into action September 26 to all devices that receive the next Windows 11 update. For desktop, you can get this today and start trying it out for yourself. This means Copilot will be on all kinds of devices – PCs, laptops, and tablets. 

Microsoft is aiming to integrate Copilot into Windows in such a way that feels natural and intuitive to use. It will be a standalone app, as well as function as an assistant in a wide assortment of other Windows apps to assist you with all kinds of tasks. This includes popular programs like Paint, Snipping Tool, Photos, and more where you can copy and paste right into the program and get to work on it right away. 

It will also help you figure out what to do with text, whether it can help revise or summarise it.

One particularly interesting addition to Microsoft’s available apps which Mehdi talked about is Windows Ink Anywhere which will allow you to handwrite a math problem into a text field or take a photo of it, and help you solve it. 

Also, if you connect your phone to your Windows device and give it permission to access your phone, Copilot will use that connection to inform its output.

Copilot and Bing, both with built-in AI

Microsoft’s flagship search engine, Bing, which has seen the integration of ChatGPT tech is also going to work in cooperation with Copilot, for example to help you shop online. You can take a picture and the two tools will help you quickly identify where you can buy it. Bing Image Creator, the AI image generator that anyone can access with a Microsoft account for free, is being upgraded to the DALL-E 3 model. When you ask Bing (and I assume Bing Chat, eventually) a question, the answers you get will be more personalized using your chat history. 

I think Copilot is going to have to prove itself – Microsoft spent a long time focusing on it during its presentation and it's not a physically flashy product, but it promises a lot. If it's as powerful and as useful as Microsoft says, that could be what makes it the next standard that we measure all AI assistants against (like Word was for text editors or Google is for search now). Time will tell.

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Amazon announces Alexa AI – 5 things you need to know about the voice assistant

During a recent live event, Amazon revealed Alexa will be getting a major upgrade as the company plans on implementing a new large language model (LLM) into the tech assistant.

The tech giant is seeking to improve Alexa’s capabilities by making it “more intuitive, intelligent, and useful”. The LLM will allow it to behave similarly to a generative AI in order to provide real-time information as well as understand nuances in speech. Amazon says its developers sought to make the user experience less robotic.

There is a lot to the Alexa update besides the LLM, as it will also be receiving a lot of features. Below is a list of the five things you absolutely need to know about Alexa’s future.

1. Natural conversations

In what may be the most impactful change, Amazon is making a number of improvements to Alexa’s voice in an effort to make it sound more fluid. It will lack the robotic intonation people are familiar with. 

You can listen to the huge difference in quality on the company’s Soundcloud page. The first sample showcases the voice Alexa has had for the past decade or so since it first launched. The second clip is what it’ll sound like next year when the update launches. You can hear the robot voice enunciate a lot better, with more apparent emotion behind.

2. Understanding context

Having an AI that understands context is important because it makes the process of issuing commands easier. Moving forward, Alexa will be able to better understand  nuances in speech. It will know what you’re talking about even if you don’t provide every minute detail. 

Users can issue vague commands – like saying “Alexa, I’m cold” to have the assistant turn up the heat in your house. Or you can tell the AI it’s too bright in the room and it will automatically dim the lights only in that specific room.

3. Improved smart home control

In the same vein of understanding context, “Alexa will be able to process multiple smart home requests.” You can create routines at specific times of the day plus you won’t need a smartphone to configure them. It can all be done on the fly. 

You can command the assistant to turn off the lights, lower the blinds in the house, and tell the kids to get ready for bed at 9 pm. It will perform those steps in that order, on the dot. Users also won’t need to repeat Alexa’s name over and over for every little command.

Amazon Alexa smart home control

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. New accessibility features 

Amazon will be introducing a variety of accessibility features for customers who have “hearing, speech, or mobility disabilities.” The one that caught our interest was Eye Gaze, allowing people to perform a series of pre-set actions just by look at their device. Actions include playing music or sending messages to contacts. Eye Gaze will, however, be limited to Fire Max 11 tablets in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan at launch.

There is also Call Translation, which, as the name suggests, will translate languages in audio and video calls in real-time. In addition to acting as an interpreter, this tool is said to help deaf people “communicate remotely more easily.” This feature will be available to Echo Show and Alexa app users across eight countries (the US, Mexico, and the UK just to mention a few) in 10 languages, including English, Spanish, and German.

5. Content creation

Since the new Alexa will operate on LLM technology, it will be capable of light content creation via skills. 

Through the Character.AI tool, users can engage in “human-like voice conversations with [over] than 25 unique Characters.” You can chat with specific archetypes, from a fitness coach to famous people like Albert Einstein. 

Music production will be possible, too, via Splash. Through voice commands, Splash can create a track according to your specifications. You can then customize the song further by adding a vocal track or by changing genres.

It’s unknown exactly when the Alexa upgrade will launch. Amazon says everything you see here and more will come out in 2024. We have reached out for clarification and will update this story if we learn anything new.


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Windows 11 no longer has Cortana as Microsoft pulls the plug on digital assistant

It’s official – Microsoft has made the move to scrap Cortana in Windows 11, as promised a while back.

If you recall, back in June, Microsoft let us know that Cortana was going to be killed off later in 2023. We then heard a firm date for that to happen, namely August, and the first sightings of some folks seeing Cortana dumped were reported just over a week ago.

And now it seems Microsoft is fully pulling support for the digital assistant.

Windows Central reports that the deprecation of Cortana is fully underway, and you’ll be notified the assistant is no longer available if you try to access it in Windows 11. Along with that notification, a link is provided to a support page where you can learn more about what’s going on here.

The change seems to be rolling out for everyone on Windows 11 now, though some folks may still have access to Cortana – but not for much longer.

Cortana will also be getting the elbow from Microsoft Teams later this year, we’re told, and will only remain in Outlook mobile by the time the end of 2023 rolls around.

Analysis: Curtains for Cortana across the board

Waving goodbye to Cortana won’t be a difficult task for most users. After all, certainly for the general computing population using Windows 11, Cortana wasn’t used much anyway. Microsoft had already angled the digital assistant more towards business use because of this – but Cortana will also be dumped from Microsoft Teams, as well, soon enough.

The reason for getting rid of Cortana pretty much everywhere (except Outlook mobile, for some reason) is obvious, and that’s the incoming Windows Copilot AI, a much more ambitious desktop assistant.

This will basically be the Bing AI integrated into a side panel in Windows 11, but with a lot of extra abilities to customize Windows settings in various ways, to save you the trouble of having to hunt for these (options that might be buried deep in submenus somewhere).

Microsoft’s Copilot is already in test builds of Windows 11, but right now, it’s still a barebones incarnation of what the software giant has promised. Meaning it’s pretty much just a built-in Bing chatbot with a few very limited powers to manipulate the Windows 11 environment, though Microsoft is going to build out the latter facets considerably going forward.

Rumor has it Copilot could debut in Windows 11 23H2, and clearing out Cortana before then would make sense in that light. We still have our doubts that Copilot will be impressive enough to launch in just a few short months though (mind you, Bing AI itself not being ready didn’t stop Microsoft launching the chatbot, either).

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Google Assistant gets AI boost – but will it make it smarter?

The AI chatbot race is far from over, despite ChatGPT’s current dominance, and Google is not showing any signs of letting up. In fact, reports suggest Google is preparing to “supercharge” Assistant, its virtual personal assistant, by integrating generative AI features similar to the ones found in OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s own generative AI chatbot Bard

Google has begun development on a new version of Google Assistant for mobile (check out the full list of devices that will be able to run , as stated in an internal email circulated to employees as reported by Axios. This is allegedly going to take place through a reorganization of its present Assistant team which will see a reduction of “a small number of roles”.

The exact number of employees that are expected to be let go has not been specified, though Axios has claimed that Google has already laid off “dozens” of employees. We have contacted Google to find out more.

Google Assistant

(Image credit: Google)

The newer, shinier, and AI-connected Google Assistant

As reported by The Verge, Google is looking to capitalize on the momentum of the rapid development of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to  “supercharge Assistant and make it even better,” according to Google spokesperson Jennifer Rodstrom. 

Google is placing a big bet on this Google Assistant gambit, being “deeply committed to Assistant” and its role in the future, according to Peeyush Ranjan, Google Assistant’s vice president, and Duke Dukellis, Google product director, in the email obtained by Axios.

This step in Google’s AI efforts follows Bard’s recent big update which enabled it to respond to user queries by “talking” (presumably meaning that it will reply using a generated voice, much like Google Assitant does), visual prompts, opening up Bard to more countries, and the introduction of over 40 languages. 

Google has not yet revealed what particular features it’s focusing on for Assistant, but there are plenty of ways it could improve its virtual assistant such as being able to respond in a more human-like manner using chatbot-like tech.

Making sure customer data remains safe and protected

Google Assistant is already in many people’s homes thanks to it being included in many devices such as Android smartphones and Google Nest smart speakers (find out how the Google Nest currently compares here) , so Google has an extensive number of users to test with. “We’re committed to giving them high quality experiences,” Rodstrom told the Verge. 

Of course, this does raise concerns about the privacy and security of its customers, as Google is likely to try and implement changes of this type to its smart home products, and some people may not be comfortable with giving the search giant even more access to their private lives. 

There is also a major concern (which, to be fair, also applies to other chatbots such as ChatGPT); accuracy of information.

google home

(Image credit: Google)

Tackling the issue of bad information and final thoughts

Google could tackle accuracy and misinformation concerns by making the generative AI being developed for Google Assistant devices linked to Google Search, as Bard is not intended to serve as an information source.

In a recent interview, the Google UK executive Debbie Weinstein emphasized that users should double-check the information provided by Bard using Google Search (as reported on by The Indian Express). 

If we’re talking hands-free Assistant devices, I assume that there is development happening to add mechanisms of this sort. Otherwise, users have to carry out a whole interrogation routine with their Assistant devices which could interrupt the flow of using the device quickly and intuitively.

It’s an enticing idea – the home assistant that can fold your laundry and tell you bedtime stories, and steps like these feel like pushes in that direction. It all comes at a cost, and the more tech saturates out lives, the more we expose to those who wish to use it for ill-intentioned purposes. 

This is going to be a huge issue for many people, and it should be, and Google should make just as much of an effort to secure its users data as it does doing magic tricks with it. That said, many Google device users and Android users will be looking forward to a more intelligent Google Assistant, as many report that they don’t get much sense from it at the moment. We’ll see if Google can deliver on its proposed steps (hopefully) forward.

Hopefully, these upgrades to both Bard and Google Assistant will make them, well, more intelligent. Putting security and privacy aside (only for a brief moment), this has real potential to make users' home devices, like Nest devices, more advanced in their ability to react to your questions and requests with relevant information and tailor responses using your personal information (responsibly, we hope).

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