Google Assistant’s evolution

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If you’re a Google Assistant (GA) user, you’ve likely noticed some changes with the virtual assistant software application.

They’ve been sunsetting underused functions and concentrating on improving those that will enhance the user experience. And of course, those improvements are being driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

There’s another important component of this equation — these changes wouldn’t have been possible without the dramatic growth of voice technology.

No one could have predicted how popular this communication channel would become, driven in large part by podcasts.

Google Assistant has gone multimodal

When you key a query into GA, the responses could be the same boring text that we’re used to. But they’re likely to be a lot more fun, to include videos, images and/or music.

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The new GA might surprise you and serve up website snippets to answer your queries. The responses are clearly more comprehensive than those we receive from a traditional Google search query.

Google Assistant’s search engines may be introducing a new search ecosystem

If you’re confused about Google Search versus Google Assistant, that’s because it looks like the two are becoming one and the same. It’s a metamorphosis. GA could be Google Search as we know it. This is where search is going and it raises our expectations.

The assistant who finds exactly what you’re searching for

In 2000, Google co-founder Larry Page told us that they were working on a system where you could ask any question and get the perfect answer. That perfect answer had to come from a new generation of search that was driven by AI, with its vast dataset or “library system” as Page likes to think of it.

An example of a deliverable with the new search?

Think about a query for a flourless chocolate cake recipe that you used to love and would like to try making yourself. Not only will GA provide the recipe, but it will serve up photos of this dessert with testimonials and instructions for making it. It may include some alternate recipes that don’t require as much work.

The inevitable comparison with Alexa and Siri

Synch with smartphones, smart speakers, etc., and you can create shortcuts. For the weather, receive a spoken response while also viewing a visual representation of a whole day of torrential downpour.

How to communicate with GA? It answers to “Hey Google”, “Okay Google”, and “Hello Google” or “Hi Google”. How can you use GA? Set your alarm for 6 a.m., add to your grocery list and remind yourself to drink water throughout the day.

GA is pretty amazing. I’m an iPhone user, so this may be a better overall user experience for those in a Chrome/PC/Android environment.

Google wants us to know that it’s all about user experience

“We’re making a few changes to focus on quality and reliability, making it easier to use Assistant across devices.”

With GA, the promise is that responses will be better organized, more accessible. We will understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily

Janet Peischel is a writer and digital media specialist, owner of Top of Mind Marketing. Reach her at 510-292-1843, jpeischel@topmindmarketing.com

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