Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in the tech industry, and Google is no exception. With the rise of AI assistants like Google Assistant and Bard, the company aims to revolutionize our daily lives. However, a closer look at these AI capabilities reveals both strengths and weaknesses. While there are instances where AI proves to be useful, it falls short in many areas.
The Ineffectiveness of Google Assistant
One of the primary drawbacks of Google Assistant is its inability to prioritize emails effectively. As a reviewer with a significant amount of experience, I often find myself overwhelmed with unwanted emails. I had hoped that Google Assistant would be able to assist in this task, but all it did was direct me to my inbox, leaving me to filter through countless emails manually. This lack of automation defeats the purpose of having an AI assistant.
Google’s generative AI tools, showcased at I/O earlier this year, also present a mixed bag of results. While some features prove to be useful, like expanding notes into care instructions for houseplants, others fall short. For example, when asked to create a weekly meal plan, the suggestions provided by Google Sheets were simplistic and lacked creativity. This inconsistency raises questions about the reliability and practicality of these AI tools.
Bard, the AI chatbot introduced by Google to compete with Bing, initially received lukewarm reviews. However, with recent updates, Bard has shown improvement by integrating with Gmail and Google Docs. It now provides more relevant and useful information, such as retrieving important emails from Gmail. Despite its progress, Bard still has room for growth to effectively compete with other AI chatbots in the market.
With the upcoming fall hardware event, Google has the opportunity to demonstrate how it plans to integrate AI into our daily lives. The Pixel 8, set to be unveiled at the event, should showcase Google’s various ideas about AI and its potential usefulness. While the company has made strides in AI development, other tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have been tentative in their approach. Google’s Pixel 8 may be the device that sets the standard for AI integration.
While the idea of generative AI writing emails may not be particularly appealing, there are numerous tasks that an AI assistant on a mobile device could excel at. For instance, having an AI assistant interpret important emails and convert them into reminders or to-do list items would greatly simplify daily organization. Furthermore, AI could provide personalized suggestions for activities based on factors like weather and calendar availability. However, these advanced features are still a work in progress and require significant processing power.
One of the major hurdles in implementing AI on mobile devices is the need for substantial processing power. AI-intensive tasks often rely on cloud processing, as witnessed by Bard’s reliance on the cloud for document summarization. Google’s custom Tensor chips aim to address this by performing more processing locally. However, concerns about overheating and the limitations of the current Tensor G3 chip raise questions about its capabilities. The Pixel 8 may shed light on the advancements Google has made in this regard.
Despite the current limitations of Google’s AI capabilities, the Pixel 8 could provide insights into the potential of AI assistants. While a fully functional AI assistant like Bard on a mobile device may still be a distant reality, Google’s cautious approach to implementing generative AI suggests that they are working towards refining and improving their offerings. The beta features announced at I/O indicate that Google is actively testing and seeking user feedback to shape the future of AI assistants.
While Google’s AI capabilities show promise, there is a need for critical evaluation. Google Assistant’s inability to effectively prioritize emails and the hit or miss nature of generative AI tools highlight existing limitations. Bard has shown improvement but still has room for growth. The upcoming Pixel 8 and its integration of AI will be a crucial milestone in demonstrating Google’s progress. As AI advancements continue, it is evident that the full potential of AI assistants is still on the horizon, with further advancements necessary to truly revolutionize our daily lives.