March 29, 2023

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How Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant lost the AI ​​race

A former manager who worked at Google Assistant said Amazon’s malfunctions with Alexa may have led Google astray. Google engineers have spent years experimenting with its assistant to mimic what Alexa can do, including designing voice-controlled smart speakers and tablet displays to control home accessories like thermostats and light switches. The company later incorporated advertising into those home products, which did not become a major source of revenue.

Over time, Google realized that most people only use the voice assistant for a limited number of simple tasks, like starting timers and playing music, the former manager said. In 2020, when Google CEO Prabhakar Raghavan took over Google Assistant, his group refocused the virtual companion as a prominent feature of Android smartphones.

In January, when Google’s parent company laid off 12,000 employees, the team working on home appliance operating systems lost 16 percent of its engineers.

Many big tech companies are now racing to come up with responses to ChatGPT. At Apple headquarters last month, the company held its annual AI Summit, an internal event for employees to learn about the Big Language Model and other AI tools, said two people briefed on the program. People said that several engineers, including members of the Siri team, test language generation concepts every week.

Tuesday, Google also said It will soon release generative AI tools to help companies, governments, and software developers build applications with built-in chatbots, integrating the underlying technology into their systems.

Artificial intelligence experts said that chatbot technologies and voice assistants will converge in the future. This means that people will be able to control chatbots through speech, and those who use Apple, Amazon and Google products will be able to ask virtual assistants to help them with their jobs, not just tasks like checking the weather.

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“These products never worked in the past because we never had the capabilities of human-level dialogue,” said Aravind Srinivas, founder of Perplexity, an AI startup that offers a chatbot-powered search engine. “We do now.”

Kid Metz Contribute to the preparation of reports.