Google – Ultimate Personal Assistant

December 27th, 2013

In my writings, I have often referred to Google as a personalized concierge that knows what you want before you do. TechCrunch has a piece alluding to this technology, titled “Google Wants To Build The Ultimate Personal Assistant.” Google’s Engineering Director offers a preview of things to come:

Here’s the gist of it: Google knows our expectations of what a search engine should be able to do is quickly changing. The old “ten blue links” search results page is quickly going away for something far smarter that, according to Huffman, will resemble a personal assistant more than the search tool Google that launched over fifteen years ago. Indeed, that’s what Huffman considers Google’s goal: creating the ultimate personal assistant. The next generation of search, he said, is all about making “all your tasks as you go through the day simpler and quicker.”

That interaction with Google will be in the form of a back-and-forth conversation, something the company has been working on for a while now. Thanks to its Knowledge Graph, Google has become significantly better at understanding its users intends and it is already able to use voice recognition for at least a limited amount of conversation that is able to work with pronouns (and that’s really the first step in making conversations with computers seem natural). It’s not exactly the Star Trek computer, but it’s a clear first step in the direction Google is taking.

The ultimate assistant, however, needs to be able to do more than just carry on a conversation, though, Huffman stressed. It also needs to be proactive and that’s where Google Now comes in. By knowing about your habits, travel bookings, OpenTable reservations and everything else that can be found by sleuthing through your Gmail inbox, Google Now is already pretty useful